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Coastal Erosion Task Force

SECTION 200.   Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission on coastal erosion defense to consist of the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee, the director of coastal zone management, the commissioner of conservation and recreation, the commissioner of environmental protection or a designee, and 10 persons to be appointed by the governor, 3 of whom shall be elected municipal officials from coastal communities, 2 of whom shall be conservation agents from coastal communities, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a membership-based environmental organization, 1 of whom shall be a representative of coastal property owners, 1 of whom shall be a coastal geologist with relevant experience and knowledge pertaining to coastal erosion, 1 of whom shall be a civil engineer with relevant experience and knowledge pertaining to coastal erosion and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the citizens of the commonwealth, to investigate and document the levels and impacts of coastal erosion in the commonwealth. The commission shall also develop a strategy and recommendations to reduce, minimize or eliminate the magnitude and frequency of coastal erosion and its adverse impacts on property, infrastructure, public safety and beaches and dunes.

          In the performance of its investigation, the commission shall make a reasonable assessment of coastal erosion and a corresponding appraisal of the financial amount of damage to property, infrastructure and beach and dune resources which has been sustained from 1978 to the present and a reasonable estimate of the value of damages likely to occur in the next 10 years under current conditions, regulations and laws.

          Based on those assessments, the commission shall evaluate all current rules, regulations and laws governing the materials, methodologies and means which may be used to guard against and reduce or eliminate the impacts of coastal erosion and shall examine any possible changes, expansions, reductions and laws which would improve the ability of municipalities and private property owners to guard against or reduce or eliminate the impacts of coastal erosion without undue adverse environmental impacts. The commission shall focus particularly on increasing the availability of cost-effective measures to protect against coastal erosion.

          The executive office of energy and environmental affairs and its subdivisions shall provide technical support to the commission.

          The commission shall file its report, together with recommendations for changes to improve protection against coastal erosion with the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the house of representatives not later than March 1, 2014.