Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives — 2004
- Alabama — ALDOT's Gopher Tortoise Conservation Area. To help preserve the habitat of the federally-threatened gopher tortoise, ALDOT has acquired and manages this 600-acre longleaf-pine forest area in Mobile County, in cooperation with the USFWS. Tortoises are being relocated here when encountered during project development activities.
- Florida — FDOT's Wildlife and Wetland Habitat Mitigation Program. This program highlights a variety of wildlife habitat and wetland mitigation sites that showcase FDOT's conservation approach to transportation development. Highlands' County Platt Branch Mitigation Park, home to the federally-protected red-cockaded woodpecker, is one example.
- Georgia — GDOT's Building Partnerships to Balance Transportation Planning with Ecosystem Integrity. This is a GDOT-FHWA collaborative effort to establish a program of ecological stewardship, including acquisition of the Flint River Ravines Tract, one of GDOT's newest stream mitigation bank models and conservation areas. The site is a mosaic of unique bottomland hardwood-forested wetland, streams, ravines, bluffs, slope forests, and geologic features that provide habitat for a variety of uncommon plant and animal species. The area was in danger of being subdivided into a riverfront residential area prior to the GDOT purchase.
- Illinois — IDOT's LaGrange Wetland Bank. This is a 1,645-acre site in Brown county that will provide regionally-based restoration and enhancement opportunities for a variety of wetland types important in a large part of the State. It will also serve as a floodplain for the watersheds of the Illinois and LaMoine Rivers. The wetland is home to a federally-endangered plant called the decurrent false aster and three State-listed birds.
- Mississippi — MDOT's Deaton Ecological Preserve. This is a 3,400-acre preservation and enhancement effort in the Pascagoula River Basin done in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and several resource agencies. The Pascagoula River Basin is the largest undammed and unchannelized drainage system in the lower 48 States.
- New York — NYSDOT's Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. This is a cooperative effort to control invasive plants across the park where transportation corridors are a primary cause of the introduction and spread of species exotic to the park. The program involves several partners: the NYSDOT, NYDEC, The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Park Agency, and Invasive Plant Council.
- Virginia — VDOT's Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Management Area. This initiative was developed as part of the US 17 upgrade in Chesapeake, Virginia. This multi-agency program will use designated bear crossings and other measures to protect and enhance Great Dismal Swamp resources. Thanks to its location between the swamp's National Wildlife Refuge and forested "Green Sea" wetlands, the project will be able to link habitats and provide a wildlife corridor.
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