Love Winter the Dolphin? Specialty License Plate Helps Nonprofit that Rescued Her

Image of Discover Florida's Ocean specialty license plate

Image courtesy of HSWRI

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – There’s a new push to support the nonprofit that rescued Pinellas County’s most famous resident, and it’s as simple as upgrading your license plate.

The Discover Florida’s Oceans specialty license plate, also known as the “wave plate,” directly benefits the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the Florida-based nonprofit that rescued Winter the dolphin, who now resides at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Vehicle owners who visit the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office in May and register a new Discover Florida’s Oceans plate will receive free goodies, including dolphin shaped stress balls, lip balm, magnets and more. The plate’s $25 annual fee goes toward HSWRI’s work in Florida’s oceans and estuaries, including scientific research, environmental projects, and education. Statewide, 13,687 vehicles have the Discover Florida’s Oceans license plate, ranking in the top third of all specialty license plates.

“When it comes to supporting our community, the Discover Florida’s Oceans license plate is a natural fit. We encourage drivers to support HSWRI’s efforts to rescue stranded dolphins by obtaining this license plate during their next visit to our offices,” said Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas.

Florida began issuing the Discover Florida’s Oceans plate in March 2005. Just nine months later, HSWRI rescued Winter the dolphin, who was entangled in a crab trap line near Cape Canaveral on Florida’s east coast.

“We encourage you to become a partner in rescuing marine life and promoting conservation of our beautiful oceans and Gulf of Mexico by buying the Discover Florida’s Oceans license plate,” said David Yates, CEO of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. “Please support this great work.”

The Pinellas County Tax Collector will support six Florida-based nonprofits throughout 2018. For more information about HSWRI, visit


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ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit