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Oil Spill’s Silver Lining? A wake-up call for regional accountability

The BP oil spill forced Coastal Alabama to examine weaknesses that existed even before the crisis, said Ricky Mathews, chairman of the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council. And once those vulnerabilities were exposed, it was up to the region’s leaders to address them.

“We can turn a very bad thing into a good thing,” said Mathews, speaking April 21 at the Gulf Coast Leadership Summit, held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans… [cont.]

April 22nd, 2011 at 12:38 pm No Comments   |Read More

CRC Documentary Debuts Marking Oil Spill’s One-year Anniversary

Even if you’ve missed some of the steps along the way, there’s now an opportunity to absorb the complete story of Alabama’s response to the BP oil spill of 2010.

A 30-minute documentary of the process is now available for viewing in three segments… [cont.]

April 20th, 2011 at 11:03 am No Comments   |Read More

Next Boost for Regional Planning:
A grant-funded collaboration

The newly formed Coastal Alabama Leadership Council will a big step towards implementation of recommendations in the “Roadmap to Resilience” report thanks to a just-announced grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant, which will be managed by the Economic Development Partners of Alabama, partners the Leadership Council and the University of South Alabama with state-wide institutions. The grant’s goals coincide with the Leadership Council’s mandate to work with local governments and non-profits to advance a regional vision for building a healthier environment, healthier communities and a healthier economy… [cont.]

April 19th, 2011 at 1:36 pm No Comments   |Read More

Despite Oil Spill Unknowns:
It’s ‘up to us to respond,’ say university researchers

The full effects of the BP oil spill on the Gulf Coast’s health, environment and economy may not be known for quite some time, but scientists at the University of South Alabama are addressing lingering questions through their research.

At a downtown Mobile, Alabama hotel on April 13, a panel of USA experts discussed their projects and some of their findings. The forum was co-sponsored by the university and the newly formed Coastal Alabama Leadership Council. You can view a recording of the event here, or download a list of the USA panelists and other university experts on the Gulf here[cont.]

April 14th, 2011 at 9:16 am No Comments   |Read More

Leadership Council Debuts with Expert USA Panel

After billions of dollars invested in oil spill research and recovery operations, what do we know now that we didn’t know in the summer and fall of 2010? What do we have yet to discover? And what does it all mean for Alabama’s coastal environment and the health of families and businesses?

Today, Wednesday the 13th, at the Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile, expert researchers from the University of South Alabama will discuss those issues and more. The event is co-sponsored by the University of South Alabama and the newly formed Coastal Alabama Leadership Council in anticipation of the April 20 anniversary of the spill. The event will be webcast live… [cont.]

April 13th, 2011 at 3:00 am No Comments   |Read More

Serve Gulf Seafood With Confidence:
Among “most tested in the world”

Of all the wild speculation circulated after the 2010 BP oil spill, rumors that did the most damage in the affected Gulf states were ones that suggested fish, shrimp, oysters, and other Gulf products were not safe to eat. Unsubstantiated fears all but tanked the region’s seafood industry.

For an overview of the ripple effects of that economic hit, check out our report: “A Roadmap to Resilience.” Download it here (6.8mb pdf).

Now that we’re going into what’s likely to be a week of frenzied media coverage on the anniversary of the spill (April 20), it’s time to set the record straight. First, the science… [cont.]

April 11th, 2011 at 10:28 am No Comments   |Read More

From Vision to Action Plan:
CRC transitions to regional council

A key proposal in the “Roadmap to Resilience” report (6.8mb .pdf) of the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama called for a new regional leadership organization to advance the “Roadmap’s” agenda. And now leaders across the business, government, and non-profit sectors of coastal Alabama are organizing the group.

“If there’s one thing that emerged from the intensive efforts of our committees and subcommittees during the CRC process,” said CRC chair Ricky Mathews, “it’s that we are ‘better together…’ [cont.]

March 11th, 2011 at 9:17 am No Comments   |Read More

“A Benchmark . . A Blueprint”: Leaders Celebrate Report Release

It was standing-room-only in the historic Old Statehouse Legislative Chamber in Montgomery, Alabama, on Wednesday, as Gov. Bob Riley and Gov.-elect Robert Bentley accepted the first bound copies of A Roadmap to Resilience, the report of the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama… [cont.]

December 16th, 2010 at 11:25 am No Comments   |Read More

“Roadmap to Resilience” Debuts:
CRC Report Available to Everyone

As promised when the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama was launched in September, the Commission presents its bound report (6.9mb .pdf) to Gov. Bob Riley and Gov.-elect Robert Bentley today in Montgomery… [cont.]

December 15th, 2010 at 12:01 pm Comment (1)   |Read More

CRC Goes Live Today:
Watch on al.com, 2 p.m. CST

After a fast-paced three months of meetings and research, the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama is ready with its report.

In a ceremony today in Montgomery, at the historic Old Statehouse Legislative Chamber, the CRC presents the 198-page A Roadmap to Resilience to Gov. Bob Riley and Gov.-elect Robert Bentley. The event will be webcast live here[cont.]

December 15th, 2010 at 9:05 am No Comments   |Read More

  • Headline

    A once-in-a generation opportunity is upon us. A transformational moment in Alabama history.

    That’s how Gov. Bob Riley described hopes for the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama, created by his executive order on September 27, 2010.

    The CRC’s mission: To shape, in the wake of BP’s Deep Water Horizon oil spill, “a roadmap to resilience” for South Alabama.

    “We must do everything we can to restore what’s been lost because of this disaster,” said Gov. Riley. “But we should also use this moment to strengthen the resilience of our state and coastal communities. The commission will recommend ways that improve our ability to respond to future challenges and examine strategies that will mean far less suffering the next time a catastrophe threatens us.”

    The CRC’s work is funded entirely with BP money already contributed to the state. No tax dollars will be used. What’s more, Gov. Riley took pains to insulate the Commission as much as possible from politics as usual. Since he leaves office in January, he’s acutely aware that the recommendations of the Commission will be in another governor’s hands. So he’s reached out to the political camps of both men vying to replace him, inviting them to appoint their own representatives to the Commission to participate in shaping a report that should inspire the new governor no matter who wins in the November elections.

    What’s more, Gov. Riley is asking local elected officials to give the Commission a little room to work. “We’ll bring politicians in,” said the governor. “But this will be a citizen-led – not a politician-led – effort. If we do that, I promise you it will be successful.”

    The CRC is made up of citizen leaders with broad ranges of experience in civic life in Alabama’s coastal region. It’s headed by Mobile Press-Register publisher Ricky Mathews, who brings to this effort the experience of a similar commission in the post-Hurricane Katrina environment of coastal Mississippi. For a complete list of CRC members, go here.

    “What we learned after Katrina on the Mississippi Coast,” said Mathews, “is that a crisis of even enormous proportions provides opportunities to re-imagine a whole region.

    “If we do our work on this commission right,” Mathews said, “we can position South Alabama for not only bouncing back more effectively from future catastrophes like oil spills and hurricanes but also for providing greater security and more opportunity for all of our citizens, even when there are no emergencies. That’s the essence of resiliency.”

    Forging consensus on what the oil spill’s impacts were and how to make the coast safer for citizens and visitors and more secure for long-term investment is tough enough. Implementing the Commission’s recommendations next year and in the years after will be harder – if the Commission is not able to begin building coalitions of support during this process. “If we’re to make the most of this opportunity,” said Mathews, “we have to begin thinking bigger and broader than we ever have.

    “Oil spills and hurricanes don’t just threaten isolated spots on a map,” said Mathews. “Their effects reverberate through an entire state, through a region even. So our chances for coping with future threats depend upon us building a regional vision, an awareness of how we’re connected with one another and how we can work with one another to do more than any of us as individual citizens or individual communities ever imagined.”

    This is a project on a fast track. At some point – no one knows exactly when – there is the potential for billions of dollars to flow to the coastal states from BP and from other energy-related sources. To assure that Alabama is positioned to make the most of this potential investment, “we need a plan,” said Gov. Riley. And it has to come quickly.

    So the Commission is committed to delivering its report by Dec. 15, initially as a downloadable pdf from this website. Printed books will be available soon thereafter.

    The Commission is organizing its work under three broad topics, each connected with the other and each representing a key component of regional adaptability and sustainability:

    A Healthy Environment
    A Healthy Society
    A Healthy Economy

    Commission members are assigned to each of the topics and will break the broader categories into sub-committees as they see fit. We’ll report on the activities of those committees and sub-committees on this website regularly.

    This is a very public process. Participation of regional experts, elected and appointed officials from all the towns and counties affected by the oil spill, regional business folks, and residents will have plenty of opportunities to review CRC work in progress and contribute their ideas and comments. They’ll be able to do that in person at community meetings, by mail or phone, and online via this website.

    Here’s how to make the best use of this site:



    If you want to know who’s on the Commission and who’s staffing it, click on the WHO tab in the toolbar above.

    If you want to understand the CRC’s mission, get answers to frequently asked questions, and see background data committees are gathering, click on the WHAT & WHY tab.

    If you want to know the schedule of public events and locations for meetings, click on the WHEN & WHERE tab.

    If you want to contact us directly, you’ll find information under CONTACT US, and at the bottom of each news post in the column to the left, is space for comments and questions.

    If you want to read or see what others are saying about the CRC effort, we’ll post links and documens under IN THE NEWS.





    This is going to move fast. So keep in touch. We need your participation.







  • PROCESS VIDEOS
    To see how the CRC based its work on the experiences of those most affected by the oil spill, click this video below:
    Click this video to watch our mid-course update:
    Click this video to explore the CRC's goals and principles:
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