Priority scheduling of winter sand removal - that's what the Maine Department of Transportation does to protect the habitat of federally endangered Atlantic salmon from the effects of sand buildup in the water. Since winter sand can flow directly into the river after a spring runoff and hurt or destroy salmon habitat, sand is removed first from bridges and bridge approaches on the main stem and the West Branch of the salmon-filled Sheepscot River on the state's central coast. The Department has also built catch basins on five "priority" state highway bridge sites identified by the Sheepscot River Watershed Council under a grant from the Fish America Foundation. The simple erosion-control devices are doing a good job in trapping winter sand and keeping it out of the river.
"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."