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      Obama budget has money for Charleston Harbor study

      President Barack Obama's proposed budget includes more than $1 million to continue studies for the $300 million deepening of the Charleston Harbor shipping channel.

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- President Barack Obama's proposed budget includes more than $1 million to continue studies for the $300 million deepening of the Charleston Harbor shipping channel.

      The money is included in almost $23 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District.

      A draft environmental impact statement on the deepening is expected by the summer of next year. Maritime interests want the channel deepened from its existing 45 feet to 50 feet so Charleston can handle larger ships that will routinely be calling when the widened Panama Canal opens in 2015.

      The budget also includes almost $15 million for routine dredging and maintenance of the Charleston channel.

      But there was no budget money for pouring sand on more than 5 miles of shorefront at Folly Beach to rebuild the beach.