Information provided by Rep. David Gomberg –
State Representative David Gomberg has introduced legislation to create a Gray Whale license plate for Oregon. “Oregon has a dozen different license plates now which support good causes. We have Crater Lake, our Veterans, fine arts, colleges and children. But what we don’t have is a plate that celebrates the spectacular Oregon Coast.”
The Whale Plate would raise funds for Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, which in turn would support the Whale Watch Spoken Here program, small businesses and coastal tourism. Once approved by the legislature, plates would be available for an added charge. Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute has secured funding for the start-up costs for the plates. “I’m really excited about the potential for the gray whale license plate to educate the public about this majestic creature commonly found off of Oregon and its promotion of tourism on the Oregon Coast,” said Dr. Bruce Mate, a world-renowned whale researcher and Director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute.
The plate will give a boost to the Coast’s tourism marketing, drawing attention to whale watching activities here, and I’m very pleased plate revenue will help support whale research and graduate student education at OSU.” Loren Goddard, owner of Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay, looks forward to the positive impact the Gray Whale license plate may have on his business. “Depoe Bay has long been called the Whale Watching Capitol. Our proximity to the ocean and abundant food sources for Gray Whales provide the perfect venue for Whale Watching on which our economy is so dependent. We strongly support measures that will aid Dr. Mate with his continued research.”
Gomberg’s office has secured the support of many Representatives and Senators. The bill will go to the Transportation Committee and be heard together with several other new Oregon plate proposals.
Comment from Chris Chandler, Whale Plate volunteer –
If HB 2180 is passed, the whale plate will raise funds for Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute–for research, and for graduate student scholarships. The visibility the plate will provide the Oregon Coast and for whale watching activities will boost the “Whale Watch Spoken Here” program, small businesses, and coastal tourism.