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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

"Recycling" a bridge work platform for mussel habitat

Pink mucket mussel

When Missouri Department of Transportation engineers completed improvements on two Meramec River bridges near St. Louis, they left the bottom foot of the work platform intact to benefit federally-listed as endangered pink mucket mussels and more than 25 other mussel species which had been relocated to safer habitat upstream of the bridges. Scuba divers report that sand, small gravel, and other substrate materials have accumulated between the rock rubble, creating favorable mussel habitat, and that the pink muckets and other species are recolonizing this part of the river. Not removing all of the work platform also meant less disturbance to the river bottom and therefore less sediment to drift downstream

Gayle Unruh, (573) 526-6676 or Gayle.Unruh@modot.mo.gov



Picture of various animals

Doing the right thing - simply

"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."

Updated: 12/12/2012
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