The commission working to preserve the culture of slave descendants on the Southeast coast will be hiring an executive director now that the federal government has approved its management plan.

Commissioners from the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia applauded warmly Friday when the letter approving the plan was read during the panel's meeting in Conway.

The 272-page management plan for the Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor was more than a dozen years in the making.

Chairman Ron Daise says the next step is to hire an executive director and seek partners to help educate people about the culture, documenting sites important to it and developing economic opportunities for those in the corridor.

The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.

Tags: Georgia, Florida, Gullah-Geechee, heritage corridor, Carolinas