The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an environmental accident unlike anything the United States had experienced before. It was the largest offshore spill in American history, killing 11 people and decimating millions of animals of different species. BP, the company responsible for the accident, will pay the U.S. a record-setting $20.8 billion for damages caused by the spill.

Seven years later, those who live near the Gulf say they’re not convinced the area will ever make a full recovery. As a pilot, Bonny Schumaker still can see the devastation from her low-flying plane, which she uses to take photos for ecological surveys.

William Granger, a lifelong commercial fisherman, says the spill devastated his business. Fearing his family would not have money to pay for groceries, he accepted a small, quick payment from a BP settlement. But the money was not enough to keep him afloat, and he is concerned about how he will continue to make a living.

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Olivia Merrion is a producer and documentary filmmaker who has produced online videos for NPR, PBS, Recode, the Associated Press, Discovery Communications, and Slate, among others. She attended James Madison University, where she earned her degree in digital video and cinema. Her capstone film received honors from the Broadcast Education Association and won the Audience Choice Award at the Virginia Student Film Festival. After graduating, she worked in Washington, D.C., as a freelance shooter and editor for NPR and other media outlets. In late 2015, she joined the creative studio collective 1504 as a contributing producer.