In Buras, Cunningham met Neng Pum, who lives on a boat with her boyfriend. Neng introduced her to Rithy Om, another a Cambodian refugee, whose son and daughter-in-law had moved to Buras from San Diego with their two young sons in order to shrimp this season. Instead, like their neighbor Phan, they are out in the gulf cleaning up BP's oil.
"I wanted to share all of their stories but focused on Phan since he was a leader in the Cambodian community and was among the first to get out to sea," Cunningham says. "After 11 days of work, the six bags of partially oil-soaked booms that you see in the video are all that Phan and his boat collected."