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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

"Fish Sticks" Help Protect Salmon Habitat

Fish stick close-up

No, these fish sticks aren't edible. They're made of plastic, so they'd be hard to chew. Thanks to a coral-red salmon sticker on each one, the fish sticks are highly visible. Thousands of the colorful markers can be seen throughout Washington State between salmon-spawning waterways and state rights of way. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) installed the fish sticks to mark the "start" and "stop" of mowing, spraying, ditch-cleaning, and other maintenance activities in these areas. When WSDOT maintenance crews see the markers, they apply state-of-the-art management practices to keep pollutants and sediment away from sensitive wetlands, streams, and rivers. WSDOT has put fish sticks in such Priority Sensitive Areas as 300 feet of Mason County's State Route 101 between Hood Canal and the salmon-filled Hamma-Hamma River. At this location, the fish sticks help protect a nearby oyster farm as well as salmon habitat.

Sandy Stephens, (360) 705-7853 or

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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