When you think of Alabama, you probably don’t think of manatees, do you? Well, you should. A fourth-grade class in Mobile has proposed the gentle giant, which has been showing up lately in coastal rivers and waterways, be named Alabama’s state marine mammal. In fact, my state is going all beachy this year with its new license tag that replaces the previous “Stars Fell Over Alabama” design, which, ironically, I always thought looked like a T-shirt you’d buy at the beach. I love this new tag and can’t wait until it’s my turn to get one. I always have bought a “Helping Schools” tag before but I think this time I’ll go with the standard tag and simply give the school of my choice $25 directly. Some folks in non-beachy Alabama aren’t happy with this emphasis on sun and sand, but I’m all for it. Our 50 miles of Gulf coastline is some of the most beautiful anywhere, and if you get manatees thrown in as a bonus, who could resist? Not me. There are only 6 1/2 hours between me and that gorgeous white sand, but for the times I can’t get there — like, sadly, now and most times — at least I’ll be able to look at my license tag.