In 1983, after decades of absence in New York, the first pair of peregrine falcons returned to nest on New York City bridges, and peregrine populations have been increasing ever since. In 1998, when New York State Department of Transportation workers noticed peregrines nesting above a pier on the Dunn Memorial Bridge - a bridge spanning the Hudson River between Albany and the City of Rensselaer - they took steps to protect the pair. Before the bridge deck was reconstructed, they built nesting boxes on two piers in the center of the bridge. For three successive years following the construction, the endangered birds have returned to the bridge - each time to the same nesting box - and have successfully hatched and fledged chicks.
"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."