KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The cost to get into the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher will go up starting March 1.
Admission fees at all three state aquariums are set to increase by about $3 starting in March.
Officials say state funding for the aquariums has dropped by 30 percent in the past eight years. They are hoping increase in price will offset the drop in funding.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked for a 30 percent increase in admission fees last December for all three of the state's aquariums. They originally cited budget cuts and increased costs associated with Obamacare as the reason for increasing the fees.
Some of the revenue associated with the fee increases will go towards hiring 36 full-time workers among the 50 temporary employees currently employed by the aquariums.
Currently the admission price for adults 13 and over is $8, military personnel and seniors is $7, and children aged 3-12 is $6.
The new admission fee for adults 13 and over is $10.95, military personnel and seniors is $9.95, and children aged 3-12 is $8.95. Children younger than 2-years-old are free.
North Carolina Aquarium Society members will continue to be admitted for free.
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