Building better roads—for people and wildlife

This spring, Maine Audubon has been excited to host workshops around the state to teach contractors, road commissioners, planners and others who work on our roads about restoring habitat at stream crossings.

Wood turtle, photo by Tom Hodgman

“Around 90 percent of our culverts could be barriers to wildlife who depend on these crossings to get to different pieces of their habitat,” said Maine Audubon biologist Barbara Charry, who studies how to mitigate the impacts of roads on wildlife. “But often we can reach solutions that benefit both wildlife and a road’s ability to handle things like storm-water flows. That’s becoming extra important as we see roads wash away in extreme weather brought on by climate change.”

Workshop presenters came from a variety of state and federal agencies, and participants got credit for their time through Maine DEP’S Voluntary Contractor Certification Program.