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

Installing sea turtle-friendly lights on a bridge

Loggerhead sea turtle

Federally endangered loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches, and the beaches on Georgia's barrier islands south of Savannah are no exception. After the young are hatched, they migrate back to the water during the night, using the moon for guidance. To keep lights on the 4,000 foot-long, cable-stayed Sidney Lanier Bridge from disorienting the migrating turtles, the Georgia Department of Transportation worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to install a minimum number of lights on both the bridge deck and the approach road and to use shielded low-sodium, low-wattage lights that cut glare and light scatter. Since every season there are an estimated 100-120 turtle eggs laid in each nest on the island beaches and on average approximately 64,000 of the nestlings make it to the water, the lights may protect a large number of turtles.

Lisa Westberry, (404) 699-4433 or lisa.westberry@dot.state.ga.us



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