Sediment from bridge-pier or other in-stream construction work can cover fish eggs or damage young fish. It can also significantly reduce the ability of some species to forage and severely degrade their habitats. Thus, for projects requiring in-stream construction where protected fish are known to occur, the Tennessee Department of Transportation includes in the project plans a set of dates during which construction is not permitted. Each set corresponds to the spawning season for the particular species being protected. When contractors know these dates ahead of time, they can adjust their work schedules to complete the projects with little or no delay. Limiting construction activities to periods outside the spawning season has helped protect such threatened and endangered species as the boulder darter, the spotfin chub, Barren's topminnow, and the ashy darter.
"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."