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JACKSONVILLE, NC (AP) — A state senator is suggesting that money from higher boat registration fees should be used to pay for dredging North Carolina’s coastal inlets.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reports that Onslow County Sen. Harry Brown wants to create the Shallow Draft Inlet Dredging Fund.

The money for the fund would come from proposed increases in vessel registration and titling fees.

Brown says it’s important to the economy to keep waterways such as New River Inlet and Bogue Inlet open to shipping. He says the inlets are used by recreational boaters, commercial vessels and fishermen among the many users.

It costs $15 a year to register a boat in North Carolina. A proposal in the legislature would increase that with fees based on the length of the boat being registered.

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