One year after the infamous British Petroleum oil spill devastated the Gulf Coast habitat, scientists say the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico appears to have returned to normal.
"There was absolutely no evidence, visual evidence that these platforms, these artificial reefs had ever been in the proximity of a major spill," Dr. Quenton Dokken of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation said.
Todd Baker, a biologist with theLouisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, agreed.
"You'll see that the mangroves here are fairly healthy," he noted. "You didn't see a lot of dead, standing mangrove, not a lot of brown or grey."
There is even new life in the region's tourism industry.
"We've got hoteliers right now telling us they've got more on the books for May and June and July than they had actually stay there back in 2009, the months before the oil spill," said Ed Schroeder, director of the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Despite the improvement of the Gulf's habitat, it's still difficult to measure the exact cost to people's lives and livelihoods.
Texas oysterman Mitch Jurishich is expecting one of his best harvests in years. But he's nervous consumers, remembering last year's troubles, may not be so quick to buy this year.
"I just want to go back to work," Jurishich said. "I just want to put all of this behind me. What's on my mind is how can we convince the country that our oysters are safe? Come back and eat them so we can harvest them."
Still, there are oystermen in Louisiana who can't catch a break.
Last year, the state diverted fresh water from the Mississippi River to help keep the oil out of the bays. Unfortunately, oysters need salt water to live.
"If they didn't release the fresh water, the oysters wouldn't have died and I'd be 'oystering' right now," oysterman Nick Collins said.
Meanwhile, there has been another development one year after the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
Some of the people who responded to the spill have been complaining of illness.