- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Although the man taking the helm of the state’s coastal restoration authority may not be as well-known as his predecessors, officials say the transition should be smooth because he’s been involved with coastal issues for about seven years.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1K2O8TT ) Chip Kline has been named chairman of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board as well as director of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, replacing Jerome Zeringue, who has served in those positions for about a year.

Zeringue, who took over after Garret Graves stepped down in February 2014 to make a successful run for Congress, had a long history with coastal and levee issues when he took over the top job.

With a background that included The Nature Conservancy, LSU Sea Grant and serving as director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, Zeringue also served for years as executive director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Although he hasn’t been in the limelight nearly as much as Zeringue or Graves, Kline has been involved in Louisiana coastal issues since 2008, just after Bobby Jindal was elected governor.

A native of Clinton and graduate of LSU, Kline worked as a staffer for Kay Bailey Hutchinson, former U.S. senator from Texas, for four years before moving back to Louisiana to serve on Jindal’s transition team.

“I started day one of the administration in coastal activities,” Kline said.

In 2010, Kline was named deputy director in the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, first under Graves and then for Zeringue.

In fact, Zeringue and Kline said they both started in the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities at about the same time early in the administration.

“I think it’s going to be a smooth transition,” Zeringue said.

The last day for Zeringue, who is also known as “Zee,” will be Friday.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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