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      New phase in preserving black sea island culture

      By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

      JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - The effort to preserve the culture of slave descendants along the coast of the Southeast is entering a new phase.

      The federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor now has an executive director, a new office and new voice in reviewing projects that could affect communities where the descendants of sea island slaves live.

      The corridor reaches from southeastern North Carolina into northeastern Florida and the culture is known both as Gullah and Geechee. It has its own creole language, history, cooking and crafts and long survived because of the isolation of the islands. Now it is threatened by rapid development.

      A corridor management plan was approved a year ago and the effort now is turning from creating a plan to putting it into effect.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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