SFWMD Governing Board Recognizes Staff Responsible for Managing License Plate Program that Funds Critical Restoration Work

Extensive review commends District for management of Everglades and Indian River Lagoon license plate programs

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board recognized the agency’s Specialty License Plate Compliance Team as team of the month. The Specialty License Plate Compliance Team is responsible for managing funds for two specialty license plate programs that fund Everglades and Indian River Lagoon restoration work. A recent extensive review by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) applauded SFWMD staff for the efficient management of this program.

Revenue derived from the $20 fee to purchase the “Everglades River of Grass” license plate goes to the Everglades Trust Fund, administered by SFWMD, which supports Everglades restoration. The plate, first created in 1998, generated over $200,000 in revenue for Everglades restoration last year alone.

Revenue derived from the $15 fee to purchase the “Indian River Lagoon” license plate helps to fund environmental restoration and educational programs for the Indian River Lagoon in Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties served by SFWMD and Volusia, Brevard and Indian River counties served by the St. Johns Water Management District. Revenues are distributed based on the number of license plate sales in each county. The plate, created in 1995, generated over $83,000 in revenue to support Indian River Lagoon programs in SFWMD last year.

“We thank Florida drivers for supporting the restoration of the Everglades and the Indian River Lagoon by purchasing these specialty plates for their vehicles,” said SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett. “We always strive to be good stewards of public dollars, and we’re grateful to the public for their support of these important restoration and protection programs. It is reassuring to see an independent review publicly confirm what we already know, that the money from these plates is well managed and goes directly to the environment.”

Officials from the DHSMV conducted an on-site review of records regarding how revenue from the license plates is being handled and allocated by SFWMD last month.

More than 20,000 Florida drivers show off their support of America’s Everglades and the Indian River Lagoon with specialty license plates. Click HERE to learn more about specialty license plates and how to obtain those plates from your local tax collector.

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