A 7-inch curb on a road in rural Montgomery County, Maryland is no problem for migrating spotted salamanders. When the curb was installed on Route 109 to control runoff and prevent erosion, the Maryland State Highway Agency put up salamander "trap lines" - a silt fence and plastic buckets buried at 50-foot intervals - to verify the curb was not a barrier to the amphibians. The salamanders climbed the sloped face of the curb and moved along the fence till they fell into a bucket. Environmental science students from nearby Poolesville High School monitored the trap lines with local residents, collecting the salamanders they found and releasing them to continue their journey to and from favorite breeding ponds.
"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."