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It will be some time before anyone knows the full extent of the damage caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that started coming ashore early Thursday, but the effects it could have on dining habits in this seafood loving community are already starting to cause concern.

“We’ve got all the Jazz Fest customers in town,” said C.J. Gerdes, chef and owner of Casamento’s, the seafood restaurant and oyster bar. “They ask, ‘How are the oysters?’ I say, ‘They’re fine right now.’”

Gerdes and others in the local restaurant and seafood industry say it is too early to tell how the oil spill will affect their businesses. But all are beginning to take action to address a disaster that has garnered international media attention and is on the minds of everyone throughout the region.

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