Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Improving a culvert keeps turtles on the wetland - and off the road

Re-designed bog-turtle culvert

At County Road in Sussex County, New Jersey, a few simple modifications to a culvert linking two wetlands have created a tunnel for bog turtles. The endangered turtles couldn't use the culvert to get from the "breeding" wetland to the "hibernating" wetland because large rocks blocked one opening to the culvert and there was a steep drop at the other opening. New Jersey Department of Transportation crews fixed the problem by removing the rocks and cutting banks, supporting them with gabion baskets (stone-filled wire "cages"). They also put a concrete pad at the same level as the culvert to create a level entrance, and they installed a one-foot high fence along the road to channel the turtles into the tunnel. Thanks to the "renovated" culvert, bog turtles and other small animals can now safely access the two wetlands on opposite sides of the road.

Robert Bird, (609) 530-4239 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
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000