Crist speaks out for new environmental license plate

Gov. Charlie Crist today dropped in on a Senate committee hearing to voice support for a new Florida specialty license plate.

The “Catch Me, Release Me” plate features a design by artist Guy Harvey showing a blue marlin bursting out of the water against a yellow backdrop. The $25 tag fee would be distributed to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Inc. for scientific research related to marine issues and conservation and education initiatives.

Crist, a saltwater boater and fisherman, sat with members of the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee while he spoke on behalf of the license plate bill, SB 650 by Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah.

“What I think what Mr. Harvey is trying to get at,” Crist said, “is to be a conservationist and protect our sea life and do it in a way that pleases the eye on the back of one of our vehicles.”

If approved by the Legislature, the new license plate would become the twenty-first environmental tag. Five of the top ten license plates are environmental, with the “Protect Wild Dolphins” tag last year bumping “Protect the Panther” out of the No. 2 spot behind the University of Florida.

The “Endless Summer” license plate, which promotes surfing and supports organizations concerned about coastal pollution and beach ecology, was approved by the committee last week. Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, introduced SB 860 to create the tag.

An index of all speciality license plates is available at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles web site.

Copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not redistribute without permission.