"A Multitude of Oysters? Looks Can Be Deceiving"

Louisiana's oyster industry, the largest in the U.S., is just beginning to recover from a series of insults, including Hurricane Katrina and the BP spill.

"With roughly two million acres of public and private oyster beds and annual revenue of $350 million, Louisiana’s oyster industry is the largest  in the United States. New Orleans prides itself on being the 'oyster capital' and has devised endless ways to prepare the delicacy — pannéed, broiled or baked; in sandwiches, stews or pies; or most traditionally, raw on the half shell.

Still, the industry has yet to bounce back from recent calamities that took a heavy toll on the state’s coastal estuaries, where freshwater meets seawater and oysters form part of the ecosystem’s bedrock. 'The word I would use for recovery is that it’s ‘beginning,’' said John Supan, an oyster specialist at Louisiana State University who is the  director of the Sea Grant Grand Isle oyster hatchery."

Emma Bryce reports for the New York Times' Green blog October 25, 2012.

Source: Green/NYT, 10/26/2012