You Avatar

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:

PART 01:

PART 02:

PART 03:

The timing is apt. It was exactly one year ago today, April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and beginning to dump millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Last week, the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council co-sponsored a forum with the University of South Alabama to explore lessons learned from the oil spill’s impacts. The USA researchers’ general conclusions echo those of other scientists who’ve been studying the Gulf over the last year.

Here, for instance, is a passage from the spill anniversary report from National Geographic News: While “uncertainty still reigns among those trying to come to grips with the spill’s ultimate legacy,” said the report, the worst-case scenario didn’t materialize:

“The damage from nearly five million barrels of oil was very real, yet many expert predictions missed their marks. Hurricanes didn’t drive enormous quantities of oil ashore, giant dead zones didn’t materialize, and oil didn’t round the tip of Florida to rocket up the East Coast via the Gulf Stream. Fisheries now appear poised to rebound instead of suffering the barren years or decades some feared. And Mother Nature had her own surprises in store, showcasing an ability to fight back against the spill and, later, to bounce back from the damage—at least in the short-term.”

Even more important, from the perspective of the work of the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama and its follow-up organization, the Leadership Council, release from a focus on the fears puts accountability for responding to lessons learned squarely on the shoulders of business and political leaders in Coastal Alabama.

“We were victimized by something beyond our control,” wrote Mobile Press-Register publisher Ricky Mathews in an oil spill anniversary editorial. “But we are not victims. We can learn from our experiences and take charge of our future.”

The just-completed documentary provides evidence for that assertion and a commitment to taking the Commission’s “Roadmap to Resilience” into implementation phases.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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.

“We were on the front lines and continue to be on the front lines,” said Russ Lea, the university’s vice president for research.

Since the spill, more than 20 USA researchers have been at work on more than $2.6 million in grants focused on post-oil spill impacts. Among the USA researchers’ efforts: training for peer-to-peer counseling; air testingof volatile organic compounds; the study of fishery habitats; and an assessment of the spill’s impact on Coastal Alabama property values.

For those working in the natural sciences, no data sent up alarms about immediate dangers to humans. Those studying social impacts, however, have a different story to tell.

Steven Picou, a professor of sociology who studied for more than two decades the impact of the Exxon Valdez spill, noted the difference between natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes. After hurricanes, said Picou, an “all clear” is given to come back, repair and rebuild. But there is no “all clear” after an oil spill, and the mental health impacts can come in waves for years.

With the BP spill, there was frustration with the response, the concern over the dispersants, and agony surrounding the claims
process. Next, Picou said, will come the trauma of extended litigation. After the Exxon spill, the legal fights dragged on for 20 years.

Dr. Ron Franks, a professor of psychiatry and vice president for health sciences, said a typical grieving process can take two years, with initial trauma lasting about six months. But Franks predicts that, because of the lack of satisfying resolutions to questions about long-term impacts and because of the likelihood of prolonged media coverage of court battles, it will be at least four years for people to get beyond the mental health vulnerabilities exposed by the spill.

“It will be up to us to respond to the challenge,” Franks said.

A significant step in that response is the formation of the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council, which co-presented the April 13 forum. The Leadership Council, a non-profit coalition of regional leaders, is the direct outgrowth of the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama created by executive order of then Gov. Bob Riley. The Commission’s 2010 report, “A Roadmap to Resilience,” made one of its key recommendations the formation of a permanent group to carry forward “Roadmap” proposals. The new Council is that group.

Read more about the Coastal Recovery Commission in the overview column to the immediate right. And get caught up on the Commission’s process and the transition to the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council by watching the videos on the far right and by reading posts preceding this one.

For the Mobile Press-Register’s coverage of the April 14 forum, go here.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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 (USA) 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, beginning at 10am Central time, 11am Eastern.

Watch the panel discussion and Q&A live by going here, then following the instructions below. The feed is free, but it requires a sign-in.

Once you click on the link and get to the landing page:
1. Go to the upper right hand corner and click on “Create New Account”
2. Fill out the brief information boxes and click “Register”
3. Go to the upper right hand corner and click “Login”. Enter Login and Password.

The panel discussion is the lead-off event in a series of programs and initiatives planned by the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council (CALC), which is the permanent body created to facilitate implementation of the report (6.8mb .pdf) of the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC) of Alabama. The column to the immediate right explains how the CRC came to be. And the process that led to the report and the formation of the Leadership Council is reported in the posts preceding this one and in the videos in the far right column.

The Leadership Council is a regional non-profit organization made up of business CEOs and non-profit leaders. Government officials are ex-officio members. The CALC’s goal is to help coordinate the efforts of existing organizations and to launch new initiatives that encourage regional strategies for building a healthier and more prosperous region for families and businesses.

It’s important, said CRC and CALC chairman Ricky Mathews, that the first event of the new Council reflects its association with the University of South Alabama. “The University was a crucial partner in the CRC’s work in 2010, and we need its expertise even more in the Leadership Council,” said Mathews.

Gordon Moulton, president of the University of South Alabama, said continuing collaboration fits with USA’s mission to “connect our researchers’ work directly to issues that affect our region.”

Return here often to see the latest news of CALC activities.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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. Here’s what LaDon Swann, director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, told the Mobile Press-Register for its Sunday, April 10, story:

“The testing shows conclusively that our seafood was not tainted by oil or dispersants. It is important that the tests are ongoing, and if we ever see any reason to be concerned, we will absolutely make that known. But I cannot find any credible data to contradict the array of federal data showing that it’s safe. It’s basically just a consumer confidence issue at this point.”

And here’s a clip of Dr. Swann addressing those same issues for a Coastal Recovery Commission documentary to be released soon:

On April 13 at 10 a.m. scientists and researchers from the University of South Alabama (USA) will address broad topics about impacts of the oil spill in a press conference co-sponsored by the USA and the newly formed Coastal Alabama Leadership Council (CALC). The press conference will be web-streamed live and will be recorded for downloading later. The link to the web stream will be posted on this website Tuesday, April 12.

The CALC is a regional non-profit created to fulfill one of the principal proposals of the Coastal Recovery Commission’s “Roadmap to Resilience” report. Working with existing business groups, non-profits and government agencies, the new Council will facilitate implementation of other report recommendations. That work begins with co-sponsoring the April 13 press conference with USA and with supporting an aggressive campaign explaining ways in which a variety of agencies, non-profits and seafood industry organizations are assuring the safety of Gulf seafood.

The campaign, titled “Serve the Gulf,” was conceived as a pro bono effort by the Birmingham-based Big Communications agency and The Mobile Press-Register to build on the grass roots movement in support of Coastal Alabama’s all-important seafood industry and to connect with the efforts of Gulf-wide seafood industry organizations.

“The idea was to find a voice for the Alabama seafood community before the anniversary of the spill,” said Chris Nelson, regional seafood community leader and Vice President of Bon Secour Fisheries. “We felt confident that if we got the message right, the movement would continue to build and new supporters would step forward.”

Nelson, who is also a member of CALC, said “Serve the Gulf” fits within the mission of the organization to promote a regional perspective for environmental protection, societal health, and economic development. Such a perspective includes the need to expand state-focused seafood marketing programs to one that encompasses all the Gulf states. The “Serve the Gulf” campaign could meet that need.

Thanks to financial support from the Alabama Tourist Department, the “Serve the Gulf” campaign has been expanded to include commercial ads, a website and a variety of promotional materials. Everything you need to know is here.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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.’

“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.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

“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.

The "Roadmap to Resilience" Report: Click to download (6.9mb .pdf)

The Commission’s responsibility was to propose strategies for strengthening Alabama’s coastal region to be more resilient in the face of challenges such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010. Gov. Riley, who launched the CRC with an executive order in late September, said he had high expectations all along, but that the 80+ member commission under Mobile Press-Register publisher Ricky Mathews, had “taken this to a different level.”

Gov. Riley lauded the effort as “a benchmark . . a blueprint” to guide the new governor and the new state legislature. And Gov.-elect Bentley promised the packed house that he respected the process the CRC has taken to produce the report and that his administration would take the “blueprint” seriously.

Commission chairman Ricky Mathews, left, poses for photos with with Gov.-elect Robert Bentley, center and Gov. Bob Riley with a copy of the Coast Recovery Commission's (CRC) final report following a press conference in the Old Statehouse Legislative Chambers at the State Capitol Wednesday, Dec.15, 2010 in Montgomery, Ala. The CRC was created by executive order of Gov. Riley to draft strategies for the recovery of coastal Alabama in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. (Press-Register, G.M. Andrews)

The Mobile Press-Register said the report “merits immediate attention and action’ in its Dec. 16 editorial.

“South Alabama has changed in ways unimaginable since the oil spill occurred in April,” said the ediorital. “But perhaps the worst is over, now that everyone has come together to map out a plan for a brighter future. No matter what happens from here on out, the region has demonstrated that it is willing to seize control of its own destiny. That alone is an impressive accomplishment.”

Already, the state government is acting on key recommendations of the CRC’s Roadmap. Gov. Riley announced at the Wednesday gathering that he would soon sign an executive order creating a new Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to work with other Gulf states to advance seafood safety testing and marketing. The state has reached a tentative agreement, said the governor, with BP to fund that testing and marketing effort in Alabama with $9 million.

Other proposals from the CRC are expected to be high on the new state leaders’ agendas.

The afternoon included a video presentation detailing the challenges and opportunities presented by the oil spill, as well as summarizing the path taken by the Commission.

What’s next?

Formation of a Coastal Leadership Council, immediately seeded with CRC funding, to formalize the citizen-based process of the Commission and to take its proposals into the implementation stage. At the top of the agenda will be long-range strategic planning process, also seeded with CRC money. That next big step will bring actionable detail to the Commission’s Roadmap and guide coastal Alabama into the coming decades.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

“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.

The "Roadmap to Resilience" Report:
Click to download (7.9mb .pdf)

The ceremonial presentation of the report, A Roadmap to Resilience, takes place in the historic Old Statehouse Legislative Chamber. More than 80 coastal Alabama leaders are expected to make the trip to the Capitol for the event. And with the legislature in special session, a strong turnout of the state’s political leaders is likely.

What happens next depends largely on those state political and business leaders. Some of the recommendations in the 198-page report will require legislative support. Many more, however, call for new perspectives on how the coastal region organizes itself to be more prepared for future challenges. Such challenges will come not only in the form of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which inspired Gov. Bob Riley to launch the CRC in late September, but also potentially catastrophic events such as hurricanes.

The CRC effort was saluted in a video produced for the occasion by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and featuring EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. Jackson’s agency is leading the post-spill environmental restoration effort from the federal government. She congratulated CRC leaders for pushing forward resilience strategies and lauded their determination to align organizations and agencies, from the federal level down to the local communities, to implement those strategies.

A report on the day’s events in Montgomery will be posted in this space on Dec. 16.

For more background on the CRC, read the column to the immediate right, and check out the FAQ here. The Commission’s progression towards today’s event is chronicled in posts preceding this one.

Posted in News and Informationwith 1 Comment →

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.

“We have said over and over, this is the beginning of a crucial conversation, not the end,” said CRC chairman and Mobile Press-Register publisher Ricky Mathews. “But it’s a beginning we can all be proud of.”

Ricky Mathews, Chairman, Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama

Created by the September 27 executive order of Gov. Riley, the 80-plus-member Commission launched on September 28. Its mission: To study vulnerabilities exposed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and propose strategies for making the region – and the state – more resilient and self-reliant when future challenges present themselves.

By Thanksgiving, the Commission’s reach extended to 600 citizen leaders in coastal Alabama who divided themselves into committees and subcommittees. More than 270 proposals were put on the table by Commission members and their advisers. And even before today’s official presentation of the full report, the Commission recommended to Gov. Riley ideas that needed immediate attention. Among them: The creation of a state council to better coordinate with other Gulf states seafood safety testing and marketing. Action on that recommendation will be reported in today’s ceremony in Montgomery.

For more background on the CRC, read the column to the immediate right, and check out the FAQ here. The Commission’s progression towards today’s event is chronicled in  posts prior to this one.

Watch the historic ceremony in Alabama’s Old Statehouse today at 2 p.m. CST on al.com. And return to the site later this afternoon to download the complete report.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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.

If there were conclusions to be drawn from the discussions, here are three key ones:

  • The sense of urgency persists. The effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on families and businesses in south Baldwin and south Mobile Counties are still the overriding concerns of many folks in those hard-hit communities;
  • Unfortunately, uncertainty also persists. No one knows exactly how the environmental and health effects of the spill will play out over time. And no one knows how much money will ultimately be available for compensation and recovery or what timetable it will be disbursed;
  • Yet despite the uncertainty, citizens and their leaders must chart a path through recovery and towards resilience. And the most effective strategy to get from where we are now to where we want to go requires embarking on the journey together.

Congressman Jo Bonner, whose district includes both Mobile and Baldwin Counties, put it this way: “One of the good things that came out of the (oil spill experience) was a spirit of solidarity unlike anytime we have ever seen.”

What that experience underlines, said Bonner, is this: “We are one coast, we are one community, and we will be stronger as a result of this tragedy.”

The message apparently came through. Here’s what Stan Wright, mayor of Bayou La Batre, told some 200 folks during the Nov. 9 public meeting:

“Nobody was affected more than the people in south Mobile County. . . What people don’t catch this day out of the water, they don’t eat that night.” Nevertheless, the mayor continued, it’s crucial for his town, like all the others on the coast, to avoid seeing this as a competition with their neighbors for attention and for relief funding.

“The easiest thing we can do is divide up,” said Mayor Wright. “I feel we’ll be conquered.”

Ricky Mathews, chair of the Coastal Recovery Commission (CRC), acknowledged that the challenge before south Alabama residents. “It’s hard to think about the long-term recovery needs and the short-term issues at the same time,” Mathews told a group of more than 300 attendees on Nov. 8 in Orange Beach. “But you’ve got to do both. Part of recovering today is about having a plan for tomorrow.”

While the effort to compensate those most hurt by the spill continues via the BP claims process, the focus of the CRC is on that plan for tomorrow. The meetings in Orange Beach, Bayou La Batre, then at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Port on Nov. 10, combined a progress report to the public with an opportunity for a conversation about what is most on people’s minds and how those concerns can best be addressed in the CRC report that will be published on December 15.

For background on the goals and process of the CRC effort, see the overview column to the immediate right and check out the FAQ under the WHAT & WHY tab on the toolbar above. To get a sense of how the CRC is anchoring its long-term planning approaches in lessons learned in the here-and-now by those at ground zero for the spill, click on the video below.

Meeting attendees were invited to peruse three sets of display posters representing the broad outlines of CRC research so far. Staffers and CRC committee and subcommittee volunteers were standing by to answer questions and to record ideas. You can download pdfs of those display posters by going to the RESOURCES tab above. You can follow media reports of the public meetings by going to the IN THE NEWS section of the tool bar. And you can send us your questions and comments, either in the space below this post or via email. Go to the CONTACT US tab above for more info.

Posted in News and Informationwith No Comments →

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.

The three meetings:

  • Monday, Nov. 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Orange Beach Community Center
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Bayou La Batre Community Center
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, Spanish Fort

“Our work has been a public process all along,” said CRC chair Ricky Mathews, “but now we want to go directly into communities to explain what we’re doing and to invite participation.”

For these three meetings, said Mathews, “We’re going where people have been most affected by the oil spill’s impacts and who have the most experience trying to navigate systems designed to help them. We need to hear their suggestions about ways to repair and improve those systems.”

What attendees tell CRC volunteers and staffers will be integrated into research by writers assigned to complete the report in time for the December 15 presentation to Governor Bob Riley and Governor-elect Robert Bentley.

For more about the goals and background of the CRC effort, check out the overview column to the right and the FAQ under the WHAT & WHY tab on the toolbar above.

Posted in News and Informationwith 5 Comments →

  • 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:
  • PROJECT CALENDAR

    August 2014
    S M T W T F S
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31EC
  • FOLLOW
  • SEARCH BY TOPIC

  • LINKS