Florida's Beloved Marine Mammal Gets a Face-lift
The manatee license plate was created to raise funds for manatee research and protection. Originally sponsored by the Save the Manatee Club, responsibility for the plate was shifted to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the plate was enacted on March 6, 1990. To date, over 559,000 manatee license plates have been issued and nearly $34,000,000 has been collected.
Revenue from sales of the manatee license plate are deposited into the Save the Manatee Trust Fund, which is managed by the FWC. The trust fund is the primary funding source for the State's manatee-related research and conservation management activities.
Once the most popular specialty license plate, the manatee license plate is currently the sixth most popular. In addition to a decrease in sales, revenues into the Save the Manatee Trust Fund are not keeping pace with inflation. With the declining revenue and popularity of the license plate and the fact that the manatee license plate has not been redesigned since its creation in 1990, the FWC worked with Florida artist Nancy Blauers to redesign the license plate. After several years of hard work, the redesign of the manatee license plate is finally complete and the new plates are now available at Florida county tax collector's offices.
About the artist
A native of the Connecticut shore, Nancy Blauers has a long-time love for the maritime coast. She grew up sailing on Long Island Sound, with the wind, the waves, and her fascination for wildlife serving as inspiration for her art. Her parents were greatly supportive of her artistic skills, which were discovered at a young age, and she was formally trained at the Frank Covino Academy of Art in Fairfield, Connecticut, and the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City, earning her BFA in Illustration in 1986.
As she developed her skills, she saw a need to add her voice and talents to the conservation efforts of our world. "In creating my art, if I can inspire one person to see creatures-that they would normally never encounter in their day-to-day life-with awe and amazement, I can hopefully influence them to help make a positive difference in our natural world."
Nancy is skilled in many different mediums; she works most often in sculpting wood and resins. She also has a very strong background in painting people and animal portraits in oils. Her work has been displayed at numerous wildlife shows and galleries including The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum of Wausau, Wisconsin, and with The Society of Animal Artists.
Currently the Senior Artist with Margaritaville Merchandising, Nancy greatly enjoys creating designs depicting "the Margaritaville lifestyle" for products such as dimensional sculptures, camp shirts, and tee shirts for the Margaritaville stores.
Nancy and her husband Greg live on their small farm in Geneva, Florida, where they enjoy their horses, and can be found on the weekend scuba diving along the southeast Florida coast. She is currently developing a series of large oil paintings of reef fishes and corals inspired by her amazement of the undersea world, and just completed a portrait of manatees. For more information on Nancy's work, contact her at BlauersArt@hotmail.com.