Imagine what a stream looks like after it has been dredged for gravel. Picture piles of gravel debris pushed up against the stream bank. That was the scene at Seeley Creek in Chemung County, New York, when the New York State Department of Transportation began to reconstruct a section of State Route 14 next to the creek. To stabilize the stream bank and reduce erosion and to create aquatic habitat (no aquatic life was evident at the time), contractors placed large logs with intact root wads in trenches cut into the stream bank. They overlapped the logs and braced them with stone to ensure bank stability. The technique worked. Seeley Creek now has a stable bank...minnows are swimming in the pools around the logs and root wads...and there's plenty of habitat for small fish and aquatic organisms.
"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."