Thursday, July 11, 2013

Erosion Commission Advances

Legislative language that I authored to create a coastal erosion commission to address comprehensively and proactively the increasing threats to property and public safety of erosion in coastal communities is now awaiting approval by Governor Patrick as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 State budget.

In the past several years we have seen time and again serious risks to public safety and significant damage to homes, infrastructure and coastal resources caused by repeated incidents of erosion up and down the Massachusetts coast.  We must take action in the face of this ongoing threat to ensure that we are taking effective steps to prevent damage to property and harm to people.

The 13 member commission created by the budget provision would include representatives of coastal communities, environmental organizations, property owners, and state and local regulatory agencies. Its work would include reviewing all current laws and regulations involving coastal resource protection and developing comprehensive strategies to eliminate or mitigate the adverse impacts of erosion.

We shouldn’t wait for the next storm to chart a course toward mitigating erosion and its hazards. Simply reacting to emergencies caused by erosion is costly and often ineffective, and we can’t afford missteps or ineffective responses with so much at stake. This commission can give us a clear path to follow in ensuring that we act wisely and cost-effectively to fight erosion before the next crisis.