The Ohio Lake Erie Commission announced a new Lake Erie license plate design that will be available on July 1 from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The new design features a life ring with the words "Lake Erie" on it. Inside the life ring are birds in flight on a backdrop of a sunset and lake waves. The Marblehead Lighthouse plate, by Ohio artist Ben Richmond, will continue to be offered along with the new plate design.
"The Commission introduced the new design to offer a new way for Ohioans to connect with Lake Erie," said Gail Hesse, executive director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. "Both of the Lake Erie license plates support research and on-the-ground projects that protect and restore Ohio's Great Lake."
Purchasing one of two Lake Erie license plates supports the Lake Erie Protection Fund, which provides grant money for projects that protect, preserve and restore Lake Erie and its watershed. The fund also accepts donations, though the majority of its money comes from license plate sales. When Ohioans pay $25 for one of the Lake Erie plates, $15 goes into the fund.
"The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles specialty plates program is vitally important to the state. Lake Erie is an invaluable resource and we hope this new design appeals to Ohioans that care about it," said Jamie Bryan, assistant registrar, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
OLEC was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie's natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources.