CHARLESTON, S.C. - The commission working to preserve the culture of sea island slave descendants in four southeastern states has an executive director.

J. Herman Blake of Johns Island will serve as acting executive director without pay while the panel puts into effect a management plan for the corridor running along the coast from southeastern North Carolina to northeastern Florida.

The plan was more than a dozen years in the making and received final approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior last year.

The commission has moved its offices from Charleston to nearby Johns Island.

Althea Sumpter of Atlanta is the new commission chairwoman, replacing Ron Daise of St. Helena Island. The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.