A Roseate Spoonbill lifts off from Queen Bess Island near Grand Isle, La., May 26, 2013. Apart from brown pelicans many gulls, ibises, white pelicans, and Roseate Spoonbills gather at the small spit of land in Barataria Bay. John McCusker/The Advocate/AP
Sailboats leave a Lake Pontchartrain marina near the replica of a historic lighthouse in New Orleans, July 9, 2013, where the Environmental Defense Fund and Walton Family Foundation released a study reporting that hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching bring 20 million visitors and $19 billion a year to the five Gulf Coast states. Janet McConnaughey/AP
Tar balls lie mixed with shells on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala, June 11, 2013. After three years and $14 billion worth of work following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the petroleum giant and the Coast Guard say it's time to end extraordinary cleanup operations in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Dave Martin/AP
A brown pelican sits on a dead mangrove, a remnant of Cat Island, La., April 18, 2013. The area was directly impacted by oil from the nation's worst offshore oil spill in 2010. Underneath the surface, environmentalists and scientists fear there may be trouble, from tiny organisms to dolphins. Yet the long-term environmental impact from the spill is still not fully known and will likely be debated for years to come. Gerald Herbert/AP
Tuna Pham, a shrimper, talks as he works on his idle boat in Lafitte, La., May 16, 2012. The shrimp and crab docks of this gritty fishing town in the Barataria estuary is a traditional seafood basket for New Orleans. In 2012, catches were down and docks were idle. Gerald Herbert/AP
People walk on the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala., March 31, 2012. The 825-foot-long pier is a popular spot for fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The region is enjoying a tourism boom two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Beth Harpaz/AP
Grand Isle, Louisiana, was bouncing back almost one year after the BP oil spill. A hand-painted sign expresses local sentiment on Grand Isle in 2011. This small town on the Gulf coast relies heavily on the oil industry, tourism, shrimping, and sport fishing. It was hit hard by the BP oil spill - although many found jobs in the cleanup. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
A heron is seen nesting in mangrove on Cat Island, damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is heavily eroded from its previous state, in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Gerald Herbert/AP
Grand Isle, Louisiana, on March 30, 2011, is bouncing back almost one year after the BP oil spill. Subcontractors with BP work on cleaning up the beach, 2011. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Hotels along the beach in Destin, Fla., March 29, 2011. Gulf Coast tourism officials who gathered for a meeting at a Florida Panhandle resort in 2011, conveyed measured optimism that vacationers would continue coming back to the beaches and seafood restaurants in communities whose images and economies were battered by the specter of the oil spill. Melissa Nelson/AP
Businesses near the coast in Destin, Fla., Gulf Coast in 2011. Melissa Nelson/AP
Teens walk past a sign of a closed oyster business in Golden Meadow, La. A number of Louisiana fisherman have had to close because of economic conditions blamed on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 2011. Dave Martin/AP
Oil spill cleanup worker Nekita Sharpe searches for tar balls on the beach in Perdido Key, Fla., April 19, 2011, a year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Dave Martin/AP
In this April 8, 2011 photo, pelican eggs are seen in a nest on Cat Island, significantly eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Gerald Herbert/AP
Crude oil interferes with the transfer of potassium in the heart cells of bluefin tuna, preventing their hearts from beating properly, reports a new study that has implications across the animal kingdom.
When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion sent plumes of crude oil billowing through the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic bluefin tuna who breed there were at the height of their spawning season, releasing clouds of eggs and milt into the open water. As they dove up and down in giddy distraction, oil coated a fifth of their breeding grounds.