The Ecology Section is a vital part of TDOT’s efforts to construct and maintain transportation facilities in an environmentally responsible manner. The Ecology Section is responsible for the identification, classification and documentation of natural resources associated with a transportation project. State and federally protected species information is obtained using GIS and coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hyperlink)and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (hyperlink) to ensure that no or minimal harm occurs during construction. All of this information is used to prepare the appropriate environmental documents as well as assist in selection of an alignment corridor and final project alignment which will avoid or minimize environmental impacts.
During the project development process, Ecology Section biologists conduct or coordinate natural resource field studies necessary to document and characterize the natural resource features associated with a project. Ecology Section biologists then provide this information to the Design Division for incorporation into the project design; this information is also supplied to the Water Quality Permits Section for use in the permit application process, and other TDOT areas such as Structures Right of Way, Maintenance, and Hydraulics.