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Environmental Review Toolkit

Environmental Awards

FHWA recognizes transportation agencies and projects that go beyond the requirements of environmental compliance to promote environmental stewardship. Two environmental awards programs administered by FHWA are described in this section.

Environmental Excellence Awards

Since the program started in 1995, these biennial awards for Environmental Excellence have recognized partners, projects and processes that use Federal Highway Administration funding sources to go beyond environmental compliance and achieve environmental excellence. We accept nominations for any project, process, group or individuals involved in a project or process that has used Federal Highway Administration funding sources to make an outstanding contribution that go beyond the traditional transportation projects and encourage environmental stewardship and partnerships to achieve a truly multi-faceted, environmentally sensitive transportation solution.

The application period for the 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards is now closed. Award winners will be announced in Spring 2019. For more information and to view past winners, please visit:

Questions and feedback should be directed to

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)

Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives

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.

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

Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives

2012 • 2011 • 2010