Stories from the Gulf

Living with the BP oil disaster.

Stories from the Gulf, narrated by Robert Redford, is a powerful 22-minute documentary about the impact on Gulf residents of the largest oil spill in American history. It explores the impact of America's worst oil disaster on Gulf Coast residents, using stunning original photography and audio interviews produced by NRDC and Bridge the Gulf, recorded by StoryCorps. The documentary originally aired on Discover Planet Green.

Byron Marinovich

"Do [I] think the rest of the country understands what's going on now? I don't wanna be rude, but I don't know if they really care."

Byron Marinovich talks about the affect the oil spill had on his community, and what it means to him as a seafood restaurant owner and former oil worker. Recorded in Buras, Louisiana, on October 21, 2010.

Hollie and Chad LeJeune

"It was like grieving for a death. You guys had worked so hard and had built this wonderful business, and then in six weeks time -- it was gone."

Chad LeJeune talks with his mother, Hollie LeJeune, about the BP oil disaster's effects on their lives and their seafood business in coastal Alabama. Recorded in Mobile, Alabama, on October 17, 2010.

Acy Cooper

"It hurts to see how something like this can divide your community."

Fisherman Acy Cooper talks about BP hiring practices, seafood safety, and the affect the oil disaster has had on his community. Recorded in Buras, Louisiana, on October 19, 2010.

Rosina and Geraldine Philippe

"I don't know if in four-five-ten years from now, I'll still be able to eat oysters, shrimp, fish, crab..."

Rosina and Geraldine Philippe of the Atakapa Tribe talk about life before the spill, and how their community responded to the BP oil disaster. Recorded in Buras, Louisiana, on October 20, 2010.

Tom Herder and William and Gage Swann

"I'm wondering if you guys ever thought, 'This is over. This is the last time I'm going to surf here.'?"

Tom Herder talks with William and Gage Swann about the BP oil disaster's effects on their lives, and their love of surfing in coastal Alabama. Recorded in Mobile, Alabama, on October 17, 2010.

Darla and Todd Rooks

"And they want to tell me to eat the seafood? Why don't they eat the seafood? I'll go catch them and I'll throw BP a big old boil....I'm not eating it."

Darla and Todd Rooks talk about the devastating impact of the BP oil disaster on their fishing community. Recorded in Buras, Louisiana, on October 20, 2010.

Harry Shearer

"Other countries are going to take the lead [in clean energy] and we're going to follow. But that's what a declining empire does. I, for one, look forward to our new Chinese overlords."

Satirist Harry Shearer talks about the Gulf oil disaster. Interviewed by Daniel Hinerfeld in Chalmette, Louisiana, on October 8, 2010.

J.J. Creppel

"It look like BP gonna convert me from a fisherman into a farmer just to see that my family got food on the table."

J.J. Creppel, a Gulf fisherman since the age of 16, talks about the devastating impact of the BP disaster on his livelihood and way of life. Recorded in Buras, Louisiana, on October 19, 2010.

Thaddeus Pellegrin

"My gosh, with that amount of oil, it changes everything. It has the ability to affect everything for God knows how long."

Thaddeus M. Pellegrin, a retired shrimper from Chauvin, LA, talks with his grandchildren about the joys and sorrows of life on the Gulf Coast. Recorded in Chauvin, Louisiana, on October 11, 2010.

George Barisich

"If this whole environment gets demolished, what good is a boat?"

George Barisich, a third-generation commercial fisherman, talks about his life on the water, and concerns that the BP oil disaster will end his career. Recorded in Chalmette, Louisiana, on October 7, 2010.

Wendy Billiot

"We have to respect the bounty we have to conserve it, all the while enjoying it. Because something like a failed blowout preventer could change all of that in an instant."

Wendy Wilson Billiot, owner of Wetland Tour and Guide Service and Camp DuLarge, talks to her 14 year-old son, Seth Billiot, about the changes in their lives after the BP oil spill. Recorded in Chauvin, Louisiana, October 12, 2010.

In October 2010, NRDC partnered with StoryCorps and Bridge the Gulf to record, share, and preserve the stories and experiences of those living through the BP oil disaster. We invite you to listen to this diverse range of voices-many not traditionally heard in the mainstream media-and to share them with your families and friends. Together we can help ensure that neither the stories of this disaster nor the lessons we can learn from it are lost.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in these interviews are those of Gulf residents and not necessarily representative of NRDC.

This story is available for online republication by news media outlets or nonprofits under these conditions: The writer(s) must be credited with a byline; you must note prominently that the story was originally published by and link to the original; the story cannot be edited (beyond simple things such as grammar); you can’t resell the story in any form or grant republishing rights to other outlets; you can’t republish our material wholesale or automatically—you need to select stories individually; you can’t republish the photos or graphics on our site without specific permission; you should drop us a note to let us know when you’ve used one of our stories.

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