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Memorandum

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: INFORMATION: Designation of FHWA Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives and Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives for 2011

From:
Lucy Garliauskas, Director
Office of Human Environment

Gerald Solomon, Director
Office of Project Development and
Environmental Review

To:
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers
Directors of Field Services
Resource Center Managers

Date: June 22, 2011

Reply to: HEPH-1
HEPE-1

The purpose of this memorandum is to announce the recipients of the 2011 Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI) and the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives (EEI).

The EHEIs recognize outstanding examples of transportation projects that either create or improve conditions for human activities while protecting the natural environment.

The EEIs identify exemplary ecosystem and habitat projects that are unique or highly unusual in their geographic scope; use of cutting edge science or technology; high level of environmental standards; high quality of results achieved; and/or recognition by environmental interests as being particularly valuable or noteworthy.

In recognition of the fact that environmental achievements do not have to be divided between natural and human initiatives, this year there are two initiatives that have achieved both EHEI and EEI status.

The two projects selected for joint EHEI/EEI recognition are:

  • Washington: State Route 410 Nile Valley Landslide – Emergency Response, Reconstruction and Restoration. For initiating an innovative and effective multi-agency response to environmental, human, and infrastructure needs resulting from a natural disaster.
  • New York: New York State Route 34 over Cayuga Inlet. For incorporating stream protection, environmental improvements, and recreational opportunities into bridge reconstruction efforts over a significant trout habitat.

Seven projects were selected as the 2011 EHEIs. They are, by category:

Education and Training Programs

  • Washington: Washington Department of Transportation Cultural Resources Training. For offering a comprehensive training that promotes awareness, preservation, and stewardship of cultural resources.

Enhancing the Environment for Human Activities

  • Oregon: Upper Perry Arch Bridge Rehabilitation Project. For restoring a historically significant structure that showcases the architectural design and technique of early twentieth-century engineers.
  • Pennsylvania: Preservation of Heritage and Improvement of Quality of Life for City of Lebanon. For encouraging active and continuous public participation and quality of life efforts to preserve a local community’s rich heritage.

Encouraging Nonmotorized Transportation

  • Florida: The Flagler Memorial Bridge Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study Team. For promoting partnerships to support nonmotorized transportation options for Palm Beach County residents along an Intracoastal Waterway bridge.
  • New York: Replacement of a Pedestrian Bridge over Route 33. For strengthening community linkages and pedestrian opportunities through the replacement of a pedestrian bridge over the Kensington Expressway.

Process Improvements

  • New Mexico: Increasing Tribal Participation: Streamlining the Section 106 Tribal Consultation Process in New Mexico. For developing a streamlined consultation process to review transportation projects affecting tribal lands.
  • Oregon: Sellwood Bridge. For building public and agency consensus around improvements for a multi-modal, community-driven, and environmentally-sensitive infrastructure project.

Twelve projects were selected as the 2011 EEIs. They are:

  • Arizona: US 93, Hoover Dam to MP17. For creating innovative solutions to wildlife crossing and ecosystem connectivity issues as part of the development of a multi-lane highway.
  • California: Essential Habitat Connectivity Project. For identifying and analyzing ways to mitigate impacts on wildlife connectivity in infrastructure systems.
  • California: Madera Pools Restoration and Mitigation Site. For establishing clustered and continuous vernal pool habitats to alleviate impacts of Caltrans road construction projects.
  • Florida: The Coastal Roadway Environmentally Sensitive Lighting Initiative. For supporting environmental and ecological conditions in roadway lighting system design to reduce or eliminate impacts to sea turtles.
  • Maine: Gorham (Bernard P. Rines) Bypass Route 112 Wildlife Passage. For implementing wildlife passage corridors and expanding drainage culverts as part of a new bypass highway to assist large and small wildlife crossings.
  • Montana: ITEEM – Integrated Transportation and Ecological Enhancements for Montana Process Development and Pilot Study Implementation. For enhancing agency coordination and streamlining project development through improved communication avenues to support environmental stewardship.
  • New York: Rte 15 Post Creek Wetland Mitigation Collaboration. For protecting extensive wetland acreage and creating additional areas of wetland mitigation in the Finger Lakes Region.
  • North Dakota: North Dakota Wetland Mitigation Banking Guidance Document. For producing a guidance document that provides clear insight into successful and collaborative methods for establishing wetland mitigation banks in North Dakota.
  • Oregon: Checkermallow and Wetland Restoration (OR 18: Fort Hill to Wallace Bridge). For managing innovative mitigation impact and habitat restoration techniques, along with multiple partnerships, to preserve a rare wildflower during a bridge rehabilitation project.
  • Oregon: The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Strategy for Migratory Bird Management and Conservation. For introducing a formal strategy to minimize the effects of transportation projects on migratory birds and nesting areas.
  • Washington: Jimmycomelately Ecosystem Restoration. For developing creative techniques to limit human impacts and restore natural processes, values, and functions in a local ecosystem.
  • Wyoming: Wyoming’s Collaborative Effort to Preserve the Trappers Point Wildlife Corridor through Highway Safety. For fostering collaborative efforts among Federal and State agencies and non-profit organizations to support both wildlife connectivity and highway safety by constructing two 150 foot-wide overpasses and six underpasses on US 191 to accommodate big game movement.

Congratulations to all of the agencies and division offices whose efforts are represented in this year’s EHEI and EEI selections, and thank you to all who submitted projects for this year. We will be soliciting nominations for our next round of EHEIs and EEIs in April 2012. If you have further questions regarding the EHEI program, please contact Mr. Gabe Rousseau at (202) 366-8044 or gabe.rousseau@dot.gov. For questions about the EEIs, please contact Ms. Mary Gray at (360) 753-9487 or mary.gray@dot.gov.

Updated: 07/11/2012
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