The line-up is almost complete for the recently announced Shoreline Preservation Task Force, headed by Rep. James Albis, D-East Haven. There are eight representatives and two senators from shoreline districts, and three non-legislative members. While technically bipartisan, the membership definitely skews Democratic.
Albis said he was looking for one more legislator and a coastal engineer.
The mission for the task force, which Albis proposed, is to formulate preservation plans and public policies for shoreline areas that face the kinds of devastation they suffered during Tropical Storm Irene due to climate change and sea level rise.
After attending a recent conference at the University of Connecticut School of Law, Albis said it was apparent to him that there needed to be two overarching themes.
One, he said, was to “be more adaptive than reactive,” to the new climate and physical realities along the coastline.
The other was to be attentive to home rule and the independence of municipalities. “We need to keep in mind there could be a lot of different solutions for different places,” he said.
Aside from the home rule issue, Albis said expected that many solutions would be a difficult sell to communities facing budget difficulties.
The first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27, with monthly meetings to follow. “Hopefully we will be able to determine in the next year what the best solutions are for different areas of shoreline,” Albis said.
Task force members:
Rep. James Albis, D-East Haven
Rep. James Crawford, D-Westbrook
Rep. Noreen Kokoruda, R- Madison
Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford
Rep. Kim Rose, D-Milford
Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport
Rep. Pat Widlitz, D-Guilford
Rep. Elissa Wright, D-Groton
Sen. Len Fasano, R- North Haven
Sen. Ed Meyer, D- Guilford
Joe Williams, land use lawyer with Shipman & Goodwin
David Sutherland, Director of Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy
Andy Weinstein, Homeowner Woodbridge/East Haven