For the past 15 years, I have photographed subjects dealing with environmental injustice and Vicki has written about health and the environment. With the BP oil disaster proving to be the largest environmental disaster in the United States, I feel a strong urgency to include it with my environmental injustice work. It is our intent to have the Gulf as a stand alone 30 minute documentary, but it will also be a part of the larger project "Dying for Profit" that examines environmental injustice along East Texas and the Gulf Coast region. The money will be used for the crew of three to travel to the Gulf Coast to video, photograph, and record audio of the people and wildlife surviving this horrific disaster.
The Gulf of Mexico is rich in natural resources - from abundant aquatic life and shoreline birds and wildlife, to ocean beaches that provide recreation and livelihood for millions of people every year. But the people living here don’t call this place paradise. They know that this beautiful place also seems to attract natural disasters as well as man-made environmental disasters.
The Gulf Coast also is rich in oil deposits. More than 25 percent of the country’s petrochemical products are produced at refineries and plants in the gulf. The wealth and culture that has resulted from the oil industry cannot be denied. But lack of precaution has caused one environmental disaster after another for people and wildlife that depend on this beautiful, rich ecosystem and consider the Gulf Coast home.
This project examines the impact of the latest disaster - the BP gulf oil spill - is having on people, the ecology, and the wildlife of the area. The photographer’s lens will zoom in on communities, families, coastal marshes and birds to describe what this disaster means to the people and creatures closest to it. The writer will go to the heart of the story through interviews with people dealing first-hand with this calamity.
We intend to increase awareness about the true cost of the BP gulf oil spill in an area already suffering from environmental injustice and an ecosystem already damaged and stressed. Our closer look at the impact of this disaster also will explore most promising solutions for restoring the gulf.
This work -- The Gulf Coast: How Much More Can It Take? -- will stand alone as 30-minute multimedia documentary on the impact of the BP Gulf Coast oil spill. It also will be part of Dying for Profit, a documentary project in progress that examines environmental justice issues in East Texas as well as the Gulf Coast. http://www.youtube.com/watch... Dying for Profit is an extension of Cromer-Campbell's 1st book, Fruit of the Orchard | Environmental Justice in East Texas. http://www.cep.unt.edu/foto
To get a comprehensive look at the condition of the Gulf Coast and the impact of the gulf oil spill, we will target areas of the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts to photograph and document the condition of coastlines, ecosystems, communities and wildlife. Along the way, we will interview those who make a living from the sea, scientists and toxicologists, activists, mothers and wildlife experts. After research is complete, we will focus in on the most poignant and illustrative stories that get to the heart of the suffering as well as the resilience of communities and nature.
Once complete, this will be a 30 minute stand alone documentary, part of Dying For Profit 90 minute documentary, a book, and a traveling exhibition.
Please support this project.
Tammy Cromer-Campbell award winning photographer/filmmaker/author.
Vicki Wolf, health, environmental writer, and audio producer.
Kyle McPeek, assistant to photography and video
Project location: Buras, LA