SC group teams with cruise groups in Fla., Italy

By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A Charleston group working for tighter rules regulating the cruise industry is forming a coalition with similar groups in Venice, Italy, and Key West, Fla.

The idea is to make sure there are adequate regulations in place to protect the historic character of smaller port cities worldwide.

Carrie Agnew with Charleston Communities for Cruise Control says the groups do not oppose cruises. But Agnew says they want to make sure there are safeguards so the cruise industry does not overrun smaller cities.

Charleston's expanded cruise industry is already the subject of challenges in federal and state courts as well as before the state's administrative law court.

City and port officials in Charleston say the cruise industry will only be a niche market and adequate safeguards are in place.

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