The plate was designed by Blackneck Adventures Capt. Mike Goodwine and Jesse Starr. Special thanks to Rep. James “J.W.”Grant and Sen. Aaron Bean for their support and helping advance the “Conserve Florida’s Fisheries” license plate.
About the Conserve Florida’s Fisheries License Plate:
In 2017, Capt. Mike Goodwine of Blackneck Adventures had the idea to create a redfish license plate while waiting to renew his license at the DMV. He went to graphic designer Jesse Starr, and together, came up with a very appealing design. Capt. Mike then contacted Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), a statewide 501c3 advocacy group focused on the conservation and enhancement of Florida’s marine resources, to partner on the license plate and help get it passed through the Florida Legislature.
Once the design was complete, CCA Florida’s advocacy team worked to find sponsors to initiate license plate bill. In 2018, Sen. George Gainer from Bay County and Rep. Chris Latvala from Pinellas County carried the CCA Florida bill through the legislation and initiated the approval process. The following year, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Sen. Aaron Bean from Hillsborough and Duval counties, respectively, continued carrying the bill in their respective houses. Then, on March 13, 2020, the bill was unanimously passed by the Legislature, and on September 19 that year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1135 establishing the bill as law and going into effect October 16.
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was created in 1977, after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast had decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. A group of 14 concerned recreational anglers gathered in a local tackle shop to create the Gulf Coast Conservation Association to turn the tide for conservation. Only four years later, gill nets along the Texas coast were outlawed and both red drum and speckled trout were declared game fish.
This previously unimaginable victory launched a new era in marine resource conservation. The successful conservation movement that started with the “Save the Redfish” campaign got the attention of anglers across the Gulf and by 1985, chapters had formed all along the Gulf Coast, one of which, CCA Florida. By the early ‘90s, the South- and Mid-Atlantic regions had CCA chapters, in 2007, Washington and Oregon chapters were formed and in 2015, the CCA California chapter was created. The fish are different, but the challenges facing them are often the same on all coasts – destructive commercial gear, degraded habitat and misguided management concepts.
CCA Florida has proven time and again that anglers are the best stewards of the marine environment. As a non-profit organization, we work to protect the health, habitat and sustainability of our marine resources, and the interests of recreational anglers and their access to the resources they cherish. With a growing, well-informed, active membership, CCA Florida continues the mission launched by those 14 visionary anglers so many years ago.
Funds from the Conserve Florida’s Fisheries license plate will support CCA Florida’s habitat restoration projects. Proceeds will be used to expand current projects and create opportunities for future habitat projects in effort to restore, enhance and protect marine resources across Florida’s coastal environments.