November 18, 2015
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil platform resulted in large amounts of crude oil and dispersant Corexit 9500A® released into the Gulf of Mexico and coincided with the spawning season of the oyster, Crassostrea virginica. The effects of exposing gametes and embryos of C. virginica to dispersant alone (Corexit), mechanically (HEWAF) and chemically dispersed (CEWAF) DWH oil were evaluated. Fertilization success and the morphological development, growth, and survival of larvae were assessed. Oysters exposed from gametes to CEWAF and Corexit experienced more deleterious effects than oysters exposed from embryos. Results suggest the presence of oil and dispersant during oyster spawning season may interfere with larval development and subsequent recruitment.