Governors of four Southeastern states announced today an agreement to work together to better manage and protect ocean and coastal resources, ensure regional economic sustainability and respond to disasters such as hurricanes.
The agreement establishes an alliance among North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. The South Atlantic Alliance will leverage resources from each state to protect and maintain healthy coastal ecosystems, keep waterfronts working, enhance clean ocean and coastal waters and help make communities more resilient after they've been struck by natural disasters.
The alliance was signed by North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
"All four governors realize that we are facing considerable challenges to sustain our coastal resources for future generations," said North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue. "This alliance will enable us to work together to protect our ocean environment and the health and economic well-being of the people dependent on those resources."
This Governors' South Atlantic Alliance is a state-led partnership leveraging resources from the public and private sectors, business and industry communities, local governments, federal agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations to address regional priorities.
All of the Governors welcomed the agreement as an example of the ability to discuss and act regionally on common issues paramount to the South's economic vitality and quality of life.
Perdue and her fellow governors praised these efforts for different reasons. Here's what they said:
Gov. Mark Sanford-SC: "South Carolina's vast natural resources and the incredible opportunities that come with them -- from recreational fishing to our vibrant tourism industry -- speak to the unique look and feel that South Atlantic states enjoy, and indeed are committed to protecting. This Alliance is an important step toward enabling us to pool resources when appropriate and better address the vital interplay between economic development and environmental stewardship in the coming years."
Gov. Sonny Perdue-GA: "Georgia's coast is renowned for its extraordinary natural and cultural resources, deepwater ports and military assets. The South Atlantic Alliance provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with our neighboring states on mutual priority issues that are vital to sustaining our rich coastal heritage while growing a vibrant economy."