Plan to preserve Gullah-Geechee Corridor from Carolinas to Fla. out for public comment

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — A plan a dozen years in the making to preserve the culture of slave descendants in four southeastern states went out for public comment on Wednesday.

The plan was developed by the federal Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission and includes recommendations for preserving the culture along the coast reaching from southeastern North Carolina to northern Florida.

The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida. In past years, it survived in many areas untouched because of the isolation of the sea islands. But now the culture and many sites important to it are threatened by coastal development.

The plan focuses on educating people about the culture and developing economic opportunities for those in the corridor. In developing the plan, public meetings were held in all four states, and more than 1,000 significant sites were identified.

The 272-page plan, along with a CD of appendixes, became available in libraries throughout the corridor on Wednesday. The commission is taking public comment through August 17.

Commission Chairman Ron Daise, perhaps best known as host, with his wife Natalie, of the children’s television show Gullah Gullah Island in the 1990s, said the panel is especially interested in getting comments from young people on the plan.

“After all, the plans voiced in this document very soon will sustain their culture and that of their descendants,” he said.

The management plan must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior for federal resources to be devoted to the effort. The commission is also working to attract private partnerships to preserve the culture.

The corridor effort began in 2000 when U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the first black congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction, asked for a study of Gullah resources. The corridor was approved by Congress in 2006 and then the work on developing the management plan began.

The commission is taking public comments on the plan at either the National Park Service planning Web site http://parkplanning.nps.gov/guge or by writing the commission at 1214 Middle Street, Sullivans Island, S.C. 29482.

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itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 07/20/12 - 12:19 am
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I'm all for recognizing and

I'm all for recognizing and documenting history, and respecting peoples cultural roots; but if they are talking about public money to "preserve" the culture, no way. I oppose that just as I would public monies to preserve Italian, Irish, German, or any other culture. If it is important to you, do your own fundraising.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/20/12 - 01:21 pm
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Ordinarily I would agree,

but the people whom this effort would help are far from being able to protect themselves from the intrusion of commercial interests or from those who wouldn't have the slightest hesitation to exploit them to point of total assimilation.

Would you be open to matching funds from the public coffers?

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