Photo provided
The proposed specialty license plate features artwork by Robert Tandecki and depicts Penn Cove, the Coupeville Wharf and the Suva among other nods to the area’s maritime history.

Photo provided The proposed specialty license plate features artwork by Robert Tandecki and depicts Penn Cove, the Coupeville Wharf and the Suva among other nods to the area’s maritime history.

Proposed license plate features Whidbey scenes

Historic Whidbey and the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation partnered to propose a new plate.

Two island nonprofits are collaborating on a fundraising project that could result in islanders repping Whidbey everywhere they drive.

Historic Whidbey and the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation partnered to propose a new specialty state license plate featuring local landmarks and vessels to honor the island’s nautical roots and raise money for the two preservation organizations, both of which were founded within the last decade.

“We’re both new kids on the block trying to find a way to generate a little bit of revenue that will be sustainable,” Historic Whidbey Executive Director Lynn Hyde said.

The proposed plate features Penn Cove, a distant view of Mount Baker, the Coupeville Wharf, a Coast Salish canoe, the Suva, a Mosquito Fleet steamer and a tall ship. It was designed by Tacoma-based maritime artist Robert Tandecki.

Hyde said she knew Tandecki from the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival, where he often sets up his booth of Northwest seafaring art in front of the Haller House. She said that when she asked Tandecki whether he had any interest in designing a license plate for the nonprofit, he was very generous and happy to donate some of his art to the cause.

Getting a specialty license plate approved is a multi-step process. Historic Whidbey and the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation have already completed the first step, which was to garner 3,500 signatures from potential buyers to present to the state legislature.

The legislature also requires a marketing plan and an endorsement from one of its own. Hyde said the nonprofits have not secured a legislative sponsor yet.

Though the groups have already collected all the signatures they need, Hyde said Whidbey residents can still support the effort by writing their state legislators to express support for the plate and, of course, by buying the plate if it gets approved.

“Whidbey’s maritime history in particular is important to everyone on the island, and supporting the plate is a great way to ensure that history is shared and honored going forward,” she said.

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