Necessity was the mother of a simple invention on a bridge site in western Washington. When crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) observed peregrine falcons and pelagic cormorants starting to nest on the bridge, they installed noisemakers and light deterrents to prevent the birds from nesting there. The strategy worked for the cormorants, but the peregrines began nesting directly under a manhole--the only access to the under-bridge maintenance walkway and a location in need of repainting. Since the work would have disturbed the hatching process, the peregrine eggs were removed from the nest and dummy eggs substituted. The peregrine eggs were taken to the Portland Zoo, where one egg was successfully hatched and fostered into a wild peregrine nest by the Portland Audubon Society. And the mother? She remained on the dummy eggs for more than 30 days until WSDOT removed them to paint the bridge. As for the cormorants&they reoccupied the bridge as soon as their chosen nesting spots had been repainted.
"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."