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'Put a whale on your tail': Oregon gray whale license plate pre-sale begins

The new Oregon license plate design comes from wildlife illustrator Pieter Folkens. He originally created the image for a poster.

The plate shows a whale cow and calf on background evoking the sea and sky.

A lighthouse is in the upper left corner. Across the bottom it reads “Coastal Playground.” (Courtesy Oregon State)

NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregonians can now buy a voucher for a new license plate featuring a gray whale and her calf.

Proceeds support the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute.

Voucher can be purchased for $40 at whaleplate.com.

"Once 3,000 vouchers have been sold, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles will begin manufacturing the plates, which will take approximately 12 week," Oregon State said in a statement. "The Marine Mammal Institute will notify purchasers when their vouchers may be redeemed for license plates at DMV offices."

The OSU Marine Mammal Institute will receive $35 for each pair of license plates sold.

The money will support whale research, graduate student education and public outreach, according to Bruce Mate at the institute.

“Since we first announced the program in December 2016, we’ve heard a lot of enthusiastic support for the design of the plates and the concept of supporting whale conservation,” Mate said. “We hope a lot of Oregonians will embrace the phrase ‘put a whale on your tail’ and purchase license plates for their vehicles.”

The new Oregon license plate design comes from wildlife illustrator Pieter Folkens. He originally created the image for a poster.

The plate shows a whale cow and calf on background evoking the sea and sky.

A lighthouse is in the upper left corner. Across the bottom it reads “Coastal Playground.”

“Whales are wonderful creatures and the world is better with them in it,” Mate said. “This license plate program will directly help the Marine Mammal Institute achieve its goals of conservation-oriented research, graduate student education and public outreach.”

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