Since the first specialty license plates were issued in 1995, they have collected more than $73 million for nonprofit groups according to an Associated Press review of Registry of Motor Vehicles records.
One of the most popular plates depicts the tail of a Right whale and two Roseate terns flying above it.
The plate, one of the first introduced in Massachusetts back in 1995, is found on nearly 32,000 cars and has raised more than $18.3 million.
It’s one of three specialty plates that benefit the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, established by lawmakers in 1988 and charged with helping preserve the state’s coastal and inland waterways.
The trust has distributed $17 million through nearly 650 grants to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and educational institutions dedicated to protecting the state’s ecosystems. Program manager Bill Hinkley said the plates are the trust’s sole source of funding.
“People have been really great supporters of this program,” he said "
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