The Ohio Department of Transportation created wetland habitat for birds and amphibians simply by not filling in part of an old stream channel. When the new, 15-mile-long Ravenswood Connector in Meigs County required 200 feet of Nease Creek to be realigned, Department biologists saw an opportunity. They recognized that once the project was finished, the small section would still receive water from overflowing streams and might become an "oxbow wetland" - a wetland formed when a waterway changes its course and flows into a new channel. So they instructed contractors to leave the section unfilled. The biologists were right. The abandoned stream-channel section did become an oxbow wetland, now regularly used by wood ducks, great blue herons, American toads, and other wildlife species.
"Keeping it simple" is more than a concept. It's a commitment.
It means using simple solutions when simple solutions will work.
It involves going beyond "compliance" to identify easy ways of helping wildlife and fish.
It means doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do and because one has an opportunity to do it.
"We can build bat roosts in pre-fab bridge concrete or extend the right-of-way fence to create elkproof fencing," says April Marchese, Director of FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment. "Simple measures like these link habitats, reduce roadkill, and save taxpayer dollars."
This website highlights more than 100 simple, successful projects from all 50 states and beyond. Each is "easy." Most are low- or no-cost. All benefit wildlife, fish, or their habitats.
Many projects were completed only once - to protect specific species in specific environmental conditions. Others have been repeated numerous times and have become "routine."
Some projects are undertaken regularly because research has proven them effective. Others are new innovations, "best practices," or state-of-the-art strategies.
Some projects - for example, modifying mowing cycles and installing oversized culverts in streams - are common to a large number of states. Others represent a simple solution to a site-specific environmental challenge.
We invite you to explore them all. We encourage you to find out for yourselves, through this website, how transportation professionals are working with others to do the right thing for wildlife and--wherever possible--to do it "simply."