Survey of wildlife-friendly temporary and permanent erosion control products and approaches
Wildlife & Ecosystems
Under 1 year
Research Idea Scope
Survey and compilation of information on erosion control products that are safe for sensitive reptiles and amphibians (netting-free) and erosion control treatments (alternatives to rip rap) that do not block movement of smaller wildlife (including turtles and tortoises) through culverts and washes . Alternatives to gabion baskets for stream bank and scour protection (which can be hazardous if removal is required when animals are hibernating). Assess the effectiveness of the alternative products and the differences in initial and life cycle costs of using the wildlife-friendly products and methods versus traditional methods and strategies to reduce the costs.
Urgency and Payoff
As more species of snakes and reptiles are being considered or actually listed as threatened or endangered, a compilation of alternate products and approaches to erosion control that are wildlife-friendly would be extremely useful to promote adoption of appropriate approaches across transportation agencies. This need falls into the gap between the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, where there is reluctance to change from currently known products and designs to new approaches. A collection of alternatives and potential costs and benefits of those products from agencies that have already implemented the change would be very helpful to agencies facing newly listed or proposed species.
Kris Gade Arizona DOT 602-292-0301