The museum in Mount Pleasant has received a letter about the World War II-era ship from the Department of the Navy.
Officials with the Patriots Point Development Authority estimate it would cost more than $100 million to put the carrier in dry dock and repair it.
Authority executive director Dick Trammell said he doesn't want to dispose of the ship but doesn't have the money to fix it.
Trammell said the repair estimate doesn't include money to do the dredging and other work to move the ship. The ship is not in danger of sinking, he said.