On September 28, one day after Gov. Bob Riley signed the executive order creating the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC), its members convened at the Five Rivers Center in Spanish Fort for their initial meeting.In his opening remarks to the group, Gov. Riley reminded them this “is an opportunity I’m not too sure we’ll ever have again.”
The opportunity: To position South Alabama to be more resilient as a region — economically, socially, and environmentally. That means making residents and visitors safer when catastrophes such as the recent Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill strike. It means protecting the coast’s environmental assets. And it means making South Alabama a healthier and more prosperous place to live and work.
By Dec. 15, 2010, the Commission will have completed a report it will hand over to Gov. Riley and to the man who will replace him come January. That report will propose “a roadmap for resilience.”
To get up to speed, read the Project Overview column to the right, then see media reports on the Sep. 30 meeting and events leading up to it here. For background on the Commission’s research, look under WHAT & WHY. Finally, watch the video below that introduces the Commission’s goals and principles.
The September 30 meeting was more than just a ceremonial gathering. Immediately after the opening session, members took part in small group discussions characterized as a “brain dump.” They were facilitated table conversations designed to draw out Commission members’ best understanding of the impacts of the oil spill and their implications for South Alabama in three broad categories: the coastal environment; the social, physical, and mental health of the region; and the South Alabama economy.
After the discussion of impacts, participants were encouraged to think of ways in which policies and projects might help build South Alabama’s capacity to bounce back from future challenges. Using notes from those table conversations, Commission members then divided in their broad committee groups – Environment, Health, Economy – and worked on next steps for their research and analysis. Click through the following slideshow for images captured throughout the day.
Follow the progress of our efforts here. We’ll update everyone regularly on the work of the committees and subcommittees. So return often – and let us you’re your concerns and questions in the space below.