Port Royal Sound Foundation seeks nearly $300,000 to complete maritime center | Business

A plan to build a maritime center in Beaufort County with aquariums and models of sea creatures is 10 percent short of its fundraising goal, and County Council is being asked to provide the remainder.

The request for $292,000 from the Port Royal Sound Foundation won unanimous support Monday from the county Finance Committee and heads to the full council April 14 for final approval.

"Usually people come and ask for some money, then go out and fund-raise," Councilman Stu Rodman said. "Actually, they've raised the 90 percent of it already, and really, we're just pushing it over the edge."

The $292,000 sum represents about 10 percent of the more than $2 million project to renovate the former Lemon Island Marina on S.C. 170, a project that is expected to be completed in June. The remaining 90 percent has been raised through monetary and in-kind gifts over the past three years, according to foundation leaders.

The maritime center on the Chechessee River will include a room with suspended models of a tiger shark, a loggerhead sea turtle, bottleneck dolphin and cownose rays surrounding a ceiling painted to look like the bottom of a boat. Other exhibits will include a 2,400-gallon tank with cobia, red drum and small sharks; a living salt marsh with ribbed mussels, periwinkle snails and fiddler crabs; and a shallow tank with fish and rays for visitors to touch. It will also have touch-screen exhibits and classroom space.

The cou....

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