Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed Bren Haase to head the state's coastal restoration agency, less than six months after the previous director took office, according to a news release.
Haase was appointed upon the resignation of Michael Ellison, who took the executive director's job in August, the news release said.
The release gave no details about Ellison's departure, but one board member said Ellison was not a good fit for the organization, which oversees the state's coastal master plan and administers projects aimed at stemming the rate of land loss across the coast.
"I heard a lot of concern voiced," said Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma. "I never saw him as a very good match."
The appointment comes less than two weeks after the new chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority board, Chip Kline, sought to allay employees' worries about changes in leadership.
The former chairman of the agency's board, Johnny Bradberry, recently left his state position for a job with an engineering firm.
Change at the top can help refresh the state's vision for coastal action, Kline said.
Haase, unlike Ellison, comes from within the CPRA. Before being appointed executive director, he was deputy executive director, a post he assumed in September. Before that, he was chief of the Division of Planning and Research. He was in charge of developing the 2017 update to the coastal master plan, the state's 50-year plan to address issues along the coast.
"Bren has my complete confidence, my utmost respect, and my full support," Edwards said in the news release.
Advocate staff writer Steve Hardy contributed to this report.