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From Vision to Action Plan:
CRC transitions to regional council

Mar 11, 2011

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.’

“You could literally feel the energy when 600 people from throughout Coastal Alabama came together, sometimes for the first time, to embrace a regional vision. We don’t want to waste that momentum. So we are creating the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council to help us leverage the regional vision for a future that’s safer and more prosperous for all our families and businesses.”

Hundreds of coastal residents participated in the development of the Coastal Recovery Commission report to the Governor.

           

The CRC was created in the fall of 2010 by then Gov. Bob Riley’s executive order. Its mission was to respond to the impacts of the oil spill after the tragic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April of 2010. More than just recommendations for emergency response, the Commission’s proposals were to reflect an analysis of vulnerabilities the spill exposed in Coastal Alabama’s interconnected environmental, societal, and economic systems. The question the Commission was charged to answer: How might the coastal communities and the state best strengthen their capacities for resilience, for bouncing back from future unexpected challenges?

The Coastal Recovery Commission was formed in response to the April, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

           

To learn more about the CRC’s goals and process, check out the overview column to the immediate right and the videos in the far right column. For deeper background on the context of planning for resilience, peruse background documents in the Resources tab in the toolbar above. For a look at sample project proposals framed as regional resilience initiatives, look the submissions under the Submittals tab above. And to follow each step of the process that led to the Commission’s “Roadmap to Resilience,” read the news posts preceding this one.

The initial to-do list for the CALC will be drawn from the CRC’s “Roadmap.” Items on that list include:

  • Bolstering the state’s influence in Gulf states seafood policy-making and marketing;
  • Encouraging state and insurance industry discussions of recommendations from the CRC’s insurance subcommittee aimed at making coastal insurance more affordable for businesses and residents;
  • And furthering the regional perspective of local business and tourism advocacy groups that began coming into focus during the CRC initiative.

Over the next few months, as the temporary Commission transitions to the permanent Council, we’ll update the news in this space. So check back often.

If you have comments or questions, use the space below, or go to the Contact Us tab in the toolbar above. We’d love to hear from you.

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We invite questions and suggestions about our process and goals. The online rules are the same as they'd be if we were meeting in person. We'll respect one another and keep on topic. And we'll work together to shape strategies that will make for a better, safer, more resilient South Alabama.

If you have comments or research suggestions you want to direct to one of our committees, you can also send email directly to the appropriate group by going to PARTICIPATE in the toolbar above and using one of the topic-specific email addresses.


  • 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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