Trust Unveils Newly Designed Chesapeake Bay License Plate

By October 18, 2018 January 4th, 2019 News
Marylanders can help restore natural resources and give back to their communities by requesting the newly redesigned Bay Plate

The Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) gathered with partners and friends to reveal the new design for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay license plate during a special unveiling ceremony at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. The newly redesigned plate features two prominent Chesapeake icons: the blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Sales of the Chesapeake Bay license plate support the Trust’s grant programs, which fund K-12 outdoor education, environmental restoration projects, and community engagement in natural resources. The new plate will be available for purchase beginning Monday, October 29, 2018.

The unveiling of the new plate, frequently referred to as the Bay Plate or Chesapeake Bay Plate, is the culmination of an extensive process that engaged multiple Maryland-based artists and incorporated input from thousands of Marylanders who considered over 250 alternative designs. Ultimately, TM Design, a Frederick-based design firm and member of the Maryland State Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, created a design that won the majority of survey respondents’ votes and resonated with Marylanders’ desire for a plate that evokes “Chesapeake Pride.”

“The Maryland Department of Transportation is proud to partner with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and support its efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay through the Bay Plate,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

The Bay Plate is a popular choice among Maryland drivers, with 7 percent of all vehicles displaying them and 12 percent of households across the state reporting that they have at least one set of Bay Plates in the family. Close to 338,000 Bay Plates are on the roads today.

“MDOT MVA is pleased to offer this new option to Maryland drivers,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, whose agency administers the Bay Plate program.

Scenes from the Unveiling: Maryland Secretary of Transporation Pete K. Rahn; Maryland MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer;  Trust Executive Director Jana Davis; new Bay Plate designer  Tina Cardosi of  TM Design, Inc.; and 2018 Trust scholarship winner Darrea Frazier addressed guests at the unveiling ceremony.

“We look forward to providing premier customer service to all those interested in purchasing the new Bay Plate at one of our branches or through our convenient web services starting on Monday, October 29th.”

The new design is the third design in the history of the Bay Plate, with the first introduced in 1990 and the second in 2004. All Maryland license plates are manufactured by Maryland Correctional Enterprises, a division of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Bay Plate Designers: Designers of the new Bay Plate, Tina Cardosi (center) and Sujen Buford (right) with designer of the 2004 plate, Joe Barsin.

“We are so proud to have worked on the new Bay Plate,” said Tina Cardosi, president of TM Design. “It will be an honor and a thrill to see our work on so many vehicles on Maryland’s roads and beyond. Knowing that this plate will help to improve water quality and our natural resources throughout the state is incredibly rewarding.”

Through Chesapeake Bay Plate funds, the Trust provides approximately 400 grants per year to schools, faith-based organizations, civic associations, homeowners associations, watershed groups, environmental organizations, and more. Each year, about 80,000 students and 20,000 volunteers are engaged through the Bay Plate and Trust grants. These grantees plant thousands of trees, native plants, marsh grasses, and oysters; remove tons of trash; and create over 100 acres of wetlands, rain gardens, stream buffers, and living shorelines each year.

“We are thrilled to introduce this iconic Chesapeake Bay Plate that captures the essence of where we live,” said Jana Davis, PhD, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “By asking for the Bay Plate, drivers help to get kids outside on field trips and trees and gardens planted across our communities, all of which helps the Bay and its contributing rivers and streams.”

Maryland has made significant progress in restoring the Chesapeake Bay in recent years. Under the Hogan Administration, the state has invested a historic $4 billion in Bay restoration initiatives. The Chesapeake Bay recently received its highest recorded grade in the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences annual report card, and Maryland’s coastal bays hit a historic high mark in the 2017 Coastal Bays Report Card from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.

The newly designed license plate will be available for $20, and can be purchased through an MDOT MVA branch, car dealerships, tag and title agencies, and online at https://cbtrust.org/purchase-a-bay-plate/.

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