PINE KNOLL SHORES, CARTERET COUNTY -

Admission fees for the three aquariums in North Carolina will increase starting next month.

Beginning on March 1, the admission fees will rise by $2.95, according to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Below are the new fees after the increase:

Adult - $10.95
Ages 62 and up - $9.95
Military - $9.95
Children ages 3-12 - $8.95
Children ages 2 and under - free

Jennette's Pier at Nags Head, also under the Aquariums Division, will have a walk-on fee of $2 for sightseers and $1 for children ages 12 and under.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the increased fees are part of an effort to offset shrinking state funding.

The aquariums last increased admission fees eight years ago. Since then, state support has dropped by 30 percent, officials said.