Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife


Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives

An open forest hillside of thin trees with dense green plants and white flowers growing on the shaded forest floor
Flint River Ravines conservation area (Georgia DOT)

It's about connections. It's about the future.

Ecosystems are interconnected communities of living things and the physical environment within which they interact. Preserving and enhancing ecosystems is critical to protecting our diverse biological resources and sustaining our communities and economies that rely on their products.

The ecosystem approach looks at the present and beyond. It envisions future conditions under which ecological, economic, and social factors are integrated.

In 2002 the Federal Highway Administration identified ecosystem conservation as one of three performance objectives under the agency's "vital few" goal of Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship. As a hallmark demonstration of its commitment to this goal, the Federal Highway Administration agreed to identify a minimum of 30 exemplary ecosystem initiatives in at least 20 States or Federal Lands Highway divisions by September 2007. The agency also developed specific criteria for selecting the initiatives.

In the success stories showcased on this website, you'll see examples of how exemplary ecosystem initiatives are reducing habitat fragmentation and barriers to animal movement, encouraging the development of more sustainable mitigation sites, stimulating early ecosystem planning, and fostering ecosystem-based research.

The Federal Highway Administration has integrated the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives into its Environmental Excellence Awards (EEAs), a biennial awards program that recognizes partners, projects, and processes committed to multi-faceted transportation solutions. For more information about the EEAs, please visit: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_excellence_awards/.

To learn about past recipients of the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives, please visit the links below.

Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives

2012 • 2011 • 2010 • 2009 • 2008 • 2007 • 2006 • 2005 • 2004 • 2003 • 2002

For questions or web problems, please send feedback to the web administrator.

HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000