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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Fish-ladder "lips" protect trout from parasitic sea lamprey

Steel overhangs on Spooner Creek fish ladders

Saltwater and freshwater sea lampreys look like eels, but unlike eels, they feed on large fish, attaching themselves to the fish with a sucking disk and sharp teeth. Under some conditions, only one of seven fish attacked will survive. That's why the New York State Department of Transportation welded steel "lips" or overhangs onto the top edges of five fish ladders on Spooner Creek near NYS Route 39 in Erie County. When migrating sea lampreys creep along the horizontal lips towards the fish ladders, they can't pull themselves up over the vertical ladders. The result? The sea lampreys are prevented from reaching upstream spawning grounds they share with Lake Erie steelhead trout.

David Tackley, Jr., (716) 847-3811 or dtackley@dot.state.ny.us



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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