MOBILE, Alabama – Commission members are putting the final touches on a report that could help determine the economic future of all of us in south Alabama.
The Alabama Coastal Recovery Commission will present its final report Wednesday on a plan to recover from the oil spill, and prepare for future economic downturns and natural disasters.
Governor Bob Riley said he’s looking forward to reading the report.
He said, “What Ricky Mathews (the head of the commission), and that commission has done, at least from what I have seen so far, and I haven’t seen the final product, is remarkable.”
Riley talked about the commission while appearing Friday night at the grand opening for the ThyssenKrupp Steel facility.
He said, “I expected it (the report) to be a recommendation for the next administration on how to spend the money, or where to put that money going forward. But, what it has developed into, the CRC (the Coastal Recovery Commission) today has taken on almost a life of its own. If you look at the way this whole community has come together, three, four, five hundred people, all working together, that is going to mean so much to this community for the next two or three years.”
Mathews, the publisher of the Press-Register, and others, have been working for more than two months, getting input at public hearings on what issues need to be addressed.
And the commission has already announced some plans.
Mathews said, “We’re going to recommend to the governor to create a seafood, or gulf seafood, marketing and promotion board, that’s going to be composed of the seafood industry, tourism industry, charter boat captains, anyone who makes their living from the Gulf.”
And the commission isn’t just looking at recovering from the oil spill.
It wants to bring everyone in the region together to respond to everything from hurricanes to economic crises.
Riley said, “Finally, they’ve put Friday night football aside and said, ‘Let’s concentrate on working together,’ and, now, I think you have a structure that is going to be viable and visible for years to come.”
Members of the commission will hand over the final report to Governor Riley and Governor-Elect Robert Bentley Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 in the State Capitol at Montgomery.