Raleigh, N.C. — Admission fees for North Carolina's three state aquariums will increase before next summer to offset rising health care costs and cuts to state funding, according to a temporary rule filed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The state aquarium has facilities on Roanoke Island, at Fort Fisher and at Pine Knoll Shores.
The current fee schedule for all three facilities is $8 for adults, $7 for military families and people age 62 and older and $6 for children ages 3 through 12. The proposed fee hike would raise those rates $2.95 each, to $10.95 for adults, $9.95 for seniors and military admissions and $8.95 for children.
Children under 3 would still be free, and there would still be free admission for school groups.
The temporary rule proposing the fee increases does not specify exactly when they would go into effect, but says "the Aquariums need to raise fees at the beginning of the Aquariums’ busy season on May 26, 2014."
Members of the public who wish to comment can contact David R. Griffith, North Carolina Aquariums, 3125 Poplarwood Court, Raleigh, NC 27604. The comment period begins Friday and ends Jan. 9. There will be a public hearing on the fee hikes at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 at the Aquarium Division Office, 3125 Poplarwood Court in Raleigh.