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

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Jan Ellen SpiegelEnergy & Environment Reporter

Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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