PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Roughly $300,000 has been raised to fund research and protection programs for Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute.
The Associated Press reports nearly 10,000 Oregonians had purchased the plates as of December 2019. The plates, which cost $40, went on sale February 1 of last year.
Money earned from sales of the plates goes towards studying the massive mammals that migrate from Mexico to feed off the U.S. West coast each summer. Many spend the summer in northern Canada and Alaska.
In addition to gray whale research projects, license plate funds will strengthen a Newport, Oregon-based whale entanglement response team to aid whales caught in debris such as fishing gear.
The gray whale plate will remain available for purchase as long as 2,000 new plates are issued each year. The institute also will receive funds when existing plates are renewed.