Santa Monica-based environmental watchdog Heal the Bay has received $30,000 from the California Coastal Commission to continue its Adopt-A-Beach Program in Los Angeles County.

Officials with the commission awarded its highest dollar amount in a single year — $798,000 — to 39 marine education projects, it was announced Tuesday. The grants are funded by sales of the Whale Tail license plate. It costs $50, or $98 to have it personalized. The annual renewal fee is $40 for a regular plate and $78 for a personalized plate.

The Whale Tail plate can be ordered over the Internet at, by calling (800) COAST-4U, or through the DMV.

The grants program was established in 1998, and to date has awarded $8.5 million to local organizations throughout California for marine education and coastal habitat improvement programs.

Heal the Bay’s Adopt-A-Beach Program arranges beach cleanups for volunteers.

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