MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley on Monday signed an executive order creating a Coastal Recovery Commission that will examine the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and recommend proposals that protect and enhance Alabama's coastal region that is important to the well-being of the entire state.
"We must do everything we can to restore what's been lost because of this disaster, 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," said Governor Riley.
The commission will be made up of civic, business and community leaders and chaired by Ricky Mathews, publisher of the Mobile Press-Register. Mathews served as vice chairman of a similar commission created by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour following Hurricane Katrina.
The Coastal Recovery Commission will present a final report to the Governor and Governor-elect by December 15.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 52
WHEREAS, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the coast of Alabama and released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over several months;
WHEREAS, the resulting oil spill caused damage to Alabama's natural resources, including contamination of the waters of the State and its beaches, destruction of Alabama's wetlands, and loss of Alabama wildlife;
WHEREAS, Mobile County and Baldwin County, in particular, have suffered environmental and economic losses associated with these damages and the loss of human use of the damaged natural resources;
WHEREAS, the Governor and the designated natural resource trustees of the State of Alabama are working to assess and restore the damaged natural resources and the economy of these coastal counties;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, do hereby create the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama, to provide expertise, experience and leadership for development of a transparent, unbiased and well-considered Report, detailing the Road to Resilience for South Alabama.
BE IT ORDERED that:
- The Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama shall be governed by an Executive Committee which shall be composed of a Chairman and ten members appointed by the Governor who serve at the pleasure of the Governor, and shall include additional advisory members who constitute the Commission. The advisory members shall be nominated by members of the Executive Committee and appointed by the Governor;
- The Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama shall meet from time to time at the call of the Chair to review, analyze, and assess the actual and potential impacts that resulted from the Oil Spill. Upon analysis of the impacts, the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama shall capture, develop and organize recommendations, projects and programs for the restoration of public health, the economy and the environment in Mobile and Baldwin counties and the waters of the Gulf and State land underlying those waters;
- The Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama shall meet from time to time at the call of the Chair to assist the Executive Committee in its purpose and function by providing additional and specific insight into the needs of these coastal counties.
- The Coastal Recovery Commission shall by December 15, 2010 recommend to the Governor and the Governor-Elect a Restoration and Resiliency Plan, including recommendations, projects and programs for the restoration of public health, the economy and the environment in these coastal counties and the waters of the Gulf and State underlying those waters.
BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately upon its execution and shall remain in effect until amended or modified by the Governor.