The Waddell Mariculture Center is banking on a big influx of cash from the state to make repairs to its Bluffton facility and keep it safe for the tourists who visit.
Budget writers for the House of Representatives have received a request for $1.2 million for the research facility. That breaks down to $903,000 to fix structural problems, including a leaky roof, and another $353,000 for operations.
Center leaders say they're optimistic that lawmakers will approve the request.
The 30-year-old center is on 1,200 acres at Victoria Bluff and supports recreational saltwater fishing and the seafood industry.
Its current work includes increasing fish populations along the state's coast -- including cobia, spotted sea trout, red drum and striped bass -- and reducing U.S. dependency on imported seafood.
To read more, check back with The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette later today and follow reporter Gina Smith at twitter.com/GinaNSmith.