[LOCATION: PORT SULPHUR, LA-FEBRUARY 27, 2013] [SOURCE: AP]

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SKIMMING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN LOUSIANA'S MARSHES

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COMMERCIAL FISHING CAPTAIN MARK BROCKHOEFT REFLECTS ON THE SPRING OF 2010

[SOT: MARK BROCKHOEFT / COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN]

"IT WAS A VERY PROMISING YEAR, WE HAD A GOOD CROP OF FISH IN, THE BOOKINGS WERE GOOD AND THEN OF COURSE THE OIL SPILL CAME ALONG."

ON APRIL 21, 2010 AN EXPLOSION ROUGHLY 50 MILES OFF THE COAST. THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DRILLING RIG, RUN BY BRITISH PRETOLEUM, IN FLAMES , KILLING ELEVEN AND SENDING MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF OIL SPILLING INTO THE GULF AND THE FRAGILE COASTLANDS

[SOT: MARK BROCKHOEFT / COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN]

"WE LOST JUST ABOUT THE ENTIRE YEARS REVENUE FROM THE TIME OF THE OIL SPILL."

IT TOOK NEARLY THREE MONTHS TO CAP THE GUSHING OIL WELL

DURING THAT TIME, CAPTAIN BROCKHOEFT'S CLIENTS CANCELLED THEIR FISHING TRIPS, MONEY DRIED UP AND THE WORLD SAW THESE UNFORGETTABLE IMAGES.

WAVES OF OIL WASHING INTO THE GULF COAST.

PELICANS WRAPPED IN THE DISASTER, MANY DYING

FISH, LIFELESS ON BEDS OF THICK CRUDE OIL

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TODAY, NEARLY THREE YEARS AFTER THE DISASTER, PROTESTORS AND ACTIVISTS GATHER OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN NEW ORLEANS FOR THE START OF THE CIVIL TRIAL.

[SOT: DAVID MUTH / NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION]

"WE ARE STILL IN THE CLEAN-UP PHASE. IN 2012, 6 MILLION POUNDS OF OIL MATERIAL WAS CLEANED UP IN THE STATE OF LOUISIANA."

AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE AT STAKE, AS BP AND OTHER COMPANIES ARE ON TRIAL.

THE GOAL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, TO FIGURE OUT WHO IS RESPONSIBLE... WAS PROFIT PUT AHEAD OF SAFETY... AND ULTIMATELY, HOW MUCH MONEY ARE BP AND OTHERS STILL ON THE HOOK FOR?

[SOT: DAVID MUTH / NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION]

"WHAT MONEY IS AVAILABLE FOR CLEAN-UP AND RESTORATION ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO BE DETERMINED ON TRIAL, HERE."

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DOWN IN THE BAYOU, THE OIL SPILL, DESTRUCTIVE HURRICANES AND THE ECONOMY HAVE ALL TAKEN A TOLL ON NATURE AND PEOPLE'S LIVELIHOODS.

[SOT: MARK BROCKHOEFT / COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN]

"OVERALL, THE BOOKINGS ARE DOWN FROM WHAT IT USED TO BE PRIOR TO THE OIL SPILL."

BUT, CAPTAIN BROCKHOEFT WAS ONE OF THE FORTUNATE ONES, RECEIVING A SETTLEMENT FROM BP FOR LOST WAGES

[SOT: MARK BROCKHOEFT / COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN]

"THANKFULLY SO, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN SOME COMPANIES THAT THIS HAPPENED TO AND THEY COULD HAVE THROWN THEIR HANDS UP AND WENT BANKRUPT."

ON THE FLIP SIDE, MANY SCIENTISTS ARE HOPING THAT MORE MONEY WILL COME OUT OF THE TRIAL AND BE GIVEN TO RESTORATION AND RECOVERY OF THE ECOSYSTEM, WHICH HAS BEEN LIMITED

[SOT: DR. MOBY SOLANGI / THE INSTITUTE FOR MARIN MAMMAL STUDIES]

"IT'S LIKE, THE EMERGENCY WAS THREE YEARS AGO AND THE MONEY STILL HAS NOT BEEN SPENT."

THE FULL EFFECTS MAY NOT BE KNOWN FOR YEARS TO COME. SOME SCIENTISTS REPORT OIL-COATED CORAL REEFS, AND SLUDGE IN PARTS OF THE GULF'S BOTTOM

ROBERT RAY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, PORT SULPHUR, LOUISIANA

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