Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Manatee Edition

17 years after its original release, The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently unveiled a new design for the Save The Manatee specialty Florida license plate. Ta-dah!
It's beautiful, I love the color scheme (very tropical), and I especially love the message it sends. The Save The Manatee plate is one of 109 different specialty plates available in Florida (wow). In 2007, it ranked number 6 in sales, behind plates for "University of Florida" (at # 1).....what??? UF over manatees???.....and "Protect The Panther", "Protect Wild Dolphins", "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" & "Florida State University". Over 559,000 manatee plates have been issued since 1990!

Appropriately, the unveiling took place at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, a refuge and home to many manatees.

Contrary to popular belief, the Save The Manatee Club does not receive any of the plate revenues (the SMC is completely donor-supported). Instead, plate proceeds are deposited into the Save The Manatee Trust Fund, which is managed by the FWC. The trust fund is the source of monies for Florida's manatee-related research and conservation management activities, including rescue and protection measures.

I currently have the previous, original edition of the manatee plate on my car:

It's equally beautiful. It was one of the first things I did when we moved back to Florida in 2000.....I went to the DMV and ordered a Save The Manatee plate, and had it personalized to say AMO FLA, which translates to "I Love Florida" in either Italian or Spanish. I'm a Florida gal and I was back baby !!!

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