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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Transforming "dead" tidal flats just by adding culverts

In the early to mid 1900s, US-1 and other roads in the Florida Keys were constructed across natural channels, significantly reducing or eliminating tidal circulation to biologically productive flats. Over time, these flats became virtual wastelands. As part of a 1980's "Keys Bridges Replacement Program," the Florida Department of Transportation restored tidal circulation to several flats simply by installing an extra culvert here and there. In less than a year, mangroves reappeared on the flats and fish and other wildlife began to return.
--Apr 25, 2003

Vicki Sharpe, (850) 414-5326 or

Florida Keys tidal flats - culverts are not visible in photograph
Photo by David Zeigler, Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Keys tidal flats after installation of additional culverts

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On Wetlands and Uplands - Florida
Updated: 12/12/2012
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