Floridians can embrace their heritage and support a good environmental cause by purchasing the first specialty plate by the Florida National Parks Association. The Florida Bay Forever license plate features a flats fishing image donated by renowned local photographer Robert L. Chaplin.
“I was in Everglades National Park to photograph a sunrise over Florida Bay when I noticed a classic Florida Bay fishing scene. With a little patience, timing, and luck I was able to capture the angler mid-cast with the birds flying through the scene.“ said Mr. Chaplin when asked about the photograph.
Homestead City Councilman Stephen Shelley ignited this project during his time as Chairman of the Florida National Parks Association,
“I am excited that this plate is finally moving forward and that it could potentially provide a significant ongoing revenue stream to improve park operations and visitor amenities,” stated Councilman Shelley. “This is not only important to the Park but is also beneficial to the “Gateway” City of Homestead.”
Proceeds from the plates are used by the Florida National Parks Association to help fund much-needed restoration, education, and scientific programs in Everglades National Parks, including water cleanup, removal of derelict vessels, seagrass restoration, and aids to navigation, among others.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected national park attendance. Selling 3,000 Florida Bay Forever specialty tags before the end of next year (2021) would put us in a privileged position to continue helping Everglades National Park as we’ve been doing since 1951,” said Jim Sutton, Executive Director of the FNPA.
Sutton added that “producing the tag also means the opportunity to unite Florida fishers.” Florida National Parks Association is offering a complimentary membership to anyone who buys a Florida Bay Forever license tag before the end of 2020.
In order to make the Florida Bay Forever license plate official, Florida National Parks Association needs to sell at least 3,000 pre-sale vouchers. The vouchers are now available at $25 plus taxes and fees at floridabayforever.com, at all county tax collector offices, and tag agencies in Florida.
Once 3,000 pre-sale vouchers have been ordered, the Department of Motor Vehicles will manufacture the Florida Bay Forever specialty plates and send them to tax collector offices and license plate agencies across the state. The plates make for an affordable holiday gift that keeps on giving as the proceeds directly support Everglades National Park.