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South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford participated in a signing ceremony today (Friday, Oct. 22) on the State House grounds in Columbia to celebrate the passage of legislation that allows Ducks Unlimited (DU) vehicle license plates to be sold in the Palmetto State. Sales of DU vehicle plates will raise critical funds for wildlife habitat conservation across the state.

"Preserving wetlands is a central part of our efforts as a state on the quality of life front," said Gov. Mark Sanford. "Ducks Unlimited has always been a leader in protecting these pristine spaces, which is a key element in maintaining the competitive advantage that comes with South Carolina's unique natural beauty."

Ducks Unlimited will use the first 100 tags for fundraising purposes throughout South Carolina. South Carolina Duck Unlimited State Chairman, Mario Insabella, says the tags are already proving popular. "The first ten tags were offered to DU supporters for $500 each as a pre-signing drawing. They all sold, which gave South Carolina's wildlife habitat a great boost, and got this program off to a remarkable start," said Insabella. "The remaining 90 vehicle plates are now available on a first-come, first-served basis at $250 each."

Ducks Unlimited vehicle tags numbered 101 and above will be available to the public in December at local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices for $50, in addition to the regular registration fee. Tags are valid for two years.

"All funds generated by this program will be used within the state of South Carolina for Ducks Unlimited wetland conservation programs," according to Insabella. "To date, DU has conserved more than 100,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in South Carolina alone."

Governor Sanford was joined at the Oct. 22 event on the State House grounds in Columbia by state conservation leaders; DU members; DU South Carolina State Chairman, Mario Insabella; Joe Johnson, DU Tag Coordinator for South Carolina; and S.C. Natural Resources Board Chairman, Michael McShane. "This is a great way for South Carolinians to support habitat conservation in their own backyard," McShane said. "By purchasing a DU plate, state citizens are choosing to help conserve habitat for our state's waterfowl and other wildlife."

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest wetland and waterfowl conservation group. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystems - and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year. Visit the South Carolina Chapter of Ducks Unlimited on the Web at

For more information Contact Joe Johnson with Ducks Unlimited at (803) 684-4271 in York or Mike Willis with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources at (803) 734-4133 in Columbia.
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