Monday, May 6, 2019


Awards $471,512 in Grants from Environmentally-Themed Specialty License Plates to Restoration Projects

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today unveiled the Striped Bass Conservation Specialty License Plate, which will provide drivers with the opportunity to support the conservation of saltwater fisheries through the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. The announcement coincides with $471,512 in grants, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, to 18 projects across the state for the restoration and improvement of aquatic habitat, rivers and watersheds, and protection of endangered marine animals, including at-risk sea turtles and the rarest large whale, the North Atlantic right whale.

“As a dedicated angler, I am proud to announce the new Striped Bass Conservation license plate that will enable conservation and research projects to protect our marine ecosystem and improve opportunities for saltwater fishermen,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Thank you to all the Massachusetts drivers that purchase environmental specialty plates, helping to fund these important projects to preserve and protect marine wildlife and environmental resources.”

“Striped bass are tremendously important for commercial and recreational fishing in the Northeast and this license plate provides a way to for people to show their support and help preserve fishing stocks,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “Drivers who have selected an environmentally themed license plate have helped to contribute millions of dollars to projects and programs that protect our environment.”

Ocean Alliance in Gloucester received a grant of $15,675 to use drones to assist in the disentanglement activities to provide a non-invasive real-time assessment, reduce animal stress, and further our understanding of these events.

All proceeds from the purchase of Striped Bass Conservation plates will be administered by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, and a panel of experts will establish priorities and recommend projects for funding. This panel will include representatives from the Division of Marine Fisheries, academia, environmental advocacy groups, the recreational fishing community, and the commercial fishing industry. Funds from the sale of this plate will be used to study striped bass, improve passageways for sea-run fish like river herring and eels, study angler practices to improve hook-and-release survival, and develop materials and programs to educate anglers about the importance of responsible angling strategies.