A new license plate is available thanks to a local group of ocean lovers.
The Charleston chapter of Surfrider Foundation teamed with the Grand Strand chapter to create the plate, which features waves, sand, sea oats, water drops and the letters "KC" for the nonprofit's motto, "Keepers of the Coast."
The plates, which went on sale at State Department of Motoro Vehicles offices last week, cost $65 in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fee and are valid for two years. A portion of the fees will go to each chapter for environmental projects and education initiatives.
Surfrider Foundation, formed in 1984 by a group of surfers in Malibu, is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education. It has 80 chapters worldwide.
Charleston chapter members include surfers, wind surfers, kiteboarders, boogie boarders and others who enjoy playing in the ocean, said Surfriders President Bubber Hutto. The chapter initiates and maintains environmental projects on Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms.
Its beach stewardship program enlists volunteers to keep sections of the coast clean. Larger beach sweeps are organized periodically with the help of both members and nonmembers and sometimes school groups.
Surfrider created grocery bag dispensers at public access points on Folly Beach to encourage owners to pick up after their pets. The public — nearby residents or visitors who bring more bags than they need — restocks the dispensers.
Two programs strive to keep cigarette butts off the beach: the installation of receptacles called cigarette cannons at public access points, and the distribution of small, individual containers that clip to clothing. Surfrider members handed out the pocket ashtrays, known as BUTTsOUT, to beachgoers over the weekend; they're also available in several Folly Beach businesses, including Bert's Market.
The organization also brought recycling beachside, maintaining bins at several Folly Beach locations.
The Charleston chapter contributed about $2,000, or half the cost of the license plate project. The creation and application process took more than a year, Hutto said.
The S.C. DMV announced the Surfrider plate the same day as three other specialty plates: the Boy Scouts of America and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society plates, which are available to the public, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority plate for members only.