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Gov. Markell signed HB348, which allows DNREC and the Division of Parks & Recreation to issue low-numbered surf vehicle plates

Gov. Jack Markell signed HB 348 into law providing for an annual surf-vehicle tag auction to benefit Delaware State Parks. Left to right in photo: DNREC Secretary David Small, State Senator Brian Pettyjohn, Gov. Markell, State Sen. Ernesto Lopez, State Representative John Atkins; Rep. Harvey Kenton; Sen. David McBridge and Rep. Peter Schwartzkopf

Gov. Markell signs HB 348 into law, enabling DNREC's Division
of Parks & Recreation to issue low-numbered surf fishing tags

INDIAN RIVER LIFE-SAVING STATION AND MUSEUM – Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary David Small, legislators and surf fishing groups and enthusiasts were on hand Thursday, Oct. 16 as the Governor signed HB348, which allows DNREC and the Division of Parks & Recreation to issue low-numbered surf vehicle plates (1-1000) by sale or auction.

Each year, Delaware State Parks officials will release a limited number of low-digit tags through a live auction in spring or early summer. The auction will occur in a clearly defined period. Once a person wins the bid, they will retain the tag as long as they continue to purchase their annual surf fishing permit sticker. This will be followed by an online auction for up to 100 total tags, where customers can bid on the numbered plate they are interested in. It is anticipated that the program will be in place by Memorial Day, 2015.

“This legislation has the potential to be a strong revenue source to benefit our state parks,” said Gov. Markell. “This year, more than 14,000 surf tags were sold, generating about $1.3 million for our state parks. So not only is this legislation a revenue-raiser for our  parks, it appeals to parks users who have an affinity for low digit tags – and we in Delaware know that will appeal to a large number of potential buyers.” 

“Our state parks rely on outside revenues for about 65 percent of our budget”, said DNREC Secretary Small. “This is another example of working collaboratively with the General Assembly on innovative, often market-based initiatives to generate funds for our parks – which we know are a strong driver for Delaware’s tourism economy. Our sincere thanks go to Representative John Atkins, prime sponsor of the bill, and Senator David McBride for their leadership and support of this legislation.”

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