Agency on Bay Managment (ABM)

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Staff Contact:

Heather Young
Environmental Planner
4000 Gateway Centre Blvd.
Suite 100
Pinellas Park, Florida 33782
Phone: (727)570-5151 ext. 40


Tampa Bay Estuary Tag

Chronology of Events

    TBEP Tag

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) began soliciting the support of Tampa Bay residents for the designation of a specialty license plate in 1993. Ten thousand valid signatures were needed.

After hearings in various sub-committees of both houses, the final legislation authorizing the Plate (SB#1266) was passed by the Senate on April 26, 1999 and the House of Representatives on April 29, 1999. Senator Jim Sebesta (Pinellas & Hillsborough Counties) and Representative Bob Henriquez (Hillsborough County) were the primary legislative sponsors.

The artwork was donated by local artist and Charter Boat Captain Russ Sirmons. Russ was also very instrumental, both on his own and through chapters of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) in getting the necessary signatures. The artwork was put into suitable electronic format and submitted to the DHSMV.

And now the Tampa Bay Estuary Specialty License Plate is available at your local tag office.

Here's how to get the Plate

  • Less than 3 months before scheduled renewal:Take your vehicle registration, plus proof of insurance and vehicle emissions testing results (if required) to the Tag Office. The charge is $15 to replace the tag + $17 for the specialty plate + the standard renewal fee. This will be effective through the next full year.
  • More than 3 months before scheduled renewal: Take your current tag, plus proof of insurance and vehicle emissions testing results (if required) to the Tag Office. The charge is $15 to replace the tag + $17 for the specialty plate + the standard renewal fee. This will be effective through the next year.
  • At the time of scheduled vehicle registration renewal: WRITE on the mail-in renewal form that you want the TAMPA BAY ESTUARY SPECIALTY PLATE, and enclose a total of $10 (one-time charge for changing your car's plate) + $17 for the plate + the standard renewal fee. If your plate is due to be changed (the form will tell you), the $10 fee is waived.
  • QUESTIONS??? Call your County Tax Collector's Office.

Show support for Tampa Bay's continued recovery by purchasing the plate for all of your vehicles and trailers. Thank you for helping us restore the Tampa Bay Estuary - A Natural Jewel.

Putting tag revenue to work

The tag revenues will be disbursed to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will receive 20% of the revenues, up to $50,000 annually, for the Agency on Bay Management's implementation of the TBRPC/ABM Action Plan for Tampa Bay. The remaining 80% will be used by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program for projects which implement the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Funds will not be used for administration.

Examples of action plan projects and other types of projects that would qualify for funding through the TBEP's Grant Program are listed below, following the statements of goals and priorities from Charting the Course (in italics):

  • Preventing increases in the amount of nitrogen added to the bay to allow recovery of more than 12,000 acres of underwater seagrasses. Projects such as reusing treated wastewater as an alternative to bay discharge, treating stormwater runoff, and educating homeowners on the benefits of environmentally-friendly landscaping practices could be eligible.<
  • "Restoring the historic balance" of coastal wetland habitats in Tampa Bay through the restoration of at least 100 acres of low-salinity tidal marshes every five years. Tag revenues could be used to supplement wetland restoration projects initiated by local governments, environmental agencies, and community groups.
  • Preserving and enhancing the bay's existing 18,000 acres of mangrove/salt marsh habitats. Citizen efforts to control invasive plant species such as Brazilian pepper, installation of environmentally- friendly alternatives to hardened shorelines, and assistance to local government and agency restoration and protection efforts could be among the eligible projects.
  • Establishing and maintaining adequate freshwater flows to Tampa Bay and its tributaries to enhance critically important low-salinity habitats. Projects to restore more natural flow and salinity conditions in tidal creeks and rivers would help advance this goal.
  • Improving on-water compliance with fishing and environmental regulations. Programs which involve citizen volunteers to monitor and promote wise stewardship of natural resources could be eligible for funding assistance.

For more information on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program's plan for the tag revenues, visit


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