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Public Meetings Attract Overflow Crowds: CRC Reports, Listens, Refines Ideas

For three evenings, Nov. 8-10, the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama was welcomed into communities most affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Some 700 people attended. The goal: To engage in a conversation about what happened and about how to shape regional environmental, economic, and societal systems to make coastal Alabama more resilient. That is, better able to bounce back when challenged by similar events in the future… [cont.]

November 12th, 2010 at 12:27 pm No Comments   |Read More

CRC Public Meetings, Nov. 8-10: Everybody’s Welcome

On three successive nights between November 8 and November 10, the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama takes its work in progress before the public for comments, corrections, and suggestions… [cont.]

November 6th, 2010 at 4:14 pm Comments (5)  |Read More

Midpoint Check-In Behind Us, Public Meetings Ahead

Some 300 folks spent four hours at the Battle House Hotel in Downtown Mobile on October 26 updating one another on progress towards the Coastal Recovery Commission’s Dec. 15 report. The big news out of the session was the announcement that the CRC will be requesting that Gov. Bob Riley sign an executive order creating an Alabama Gulf Fisheries Marketing and Promotion Board… [cont.]

November 1st, 2010 at 10:03 am No Comments   |Read More

Next Up: Oct. 26 Check-In,
Work-in-Progress Ready for Review

Dozens of committee and subcommittee meetings have produced plenty of ideas and proposals intended to strengthen Coastal Alabama’s capacity to bounce back from catastrophes like the recent oil spill. Now comes the sorting.

What concepts deserve to be integrated into final strategies? And by what standards should they be prioritized? [cont.]

October 24th, 2010 at 7:39 pm Comments (3)  |Read More

Shaping a Regional Vision:
Finding the Right Models

“If we get nothing else out of this effort, we will have begun an historic conversation about South Alabama as a region.”

That’s been a common theme in many of the committee and subcommittee meetings held since the Coastal Recovery Commission’s launch-day “brain dump”[cont.]

October 15th, 2010 at 11:47 am Comment (1)   |Read More

Coastal Insurance Issues: Search for Solutions Begins

One sure way to achieve success for the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) is to solve the decades-old effort to balance risk and costs for insuring coastal property. The deadline of Dec. 15 may be a little too tight to come up with all the answers, but the CRC is tackling the dilemma head-on… [cont.]

October 14th, 2010 at 4:18 pm No Comments   |Read More

Down to Business: CRC Committees Dig into Data

Within a day or two after the launch of the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC), the Commission’s three broad committees addressing a Healthy Environment, a Healthy Society, a Healthy Economy were already breaking down into sub-committees and setting meeting places and times… [cont.]

October 1st, 2010 at 12:27 pm No Comments   |Read More

CRC Kick-Off Meeting:
“Brain Dump,” Then To-Do List

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.” [cont.]

September 29th, 2010 at 5:08 pm No Comments   |Read More

CRC Officially Launches:
Watch This Space for News

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley signed the executive order creating the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama on Monday, September 27. And the Commission scheduled its first meeting for the next day in Spanish Fort.

We’ll have complete coverage of that meeting, including a video introduction to the CRC, here on Thursday, September 30. So check back with us then… [cont.]

September 27th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Comment (1)   |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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