Why do New York's culverts need to be improved?
When culverts are too small, both human communities and aquatic ecosystems may be at risk. As many communities across the Northeast saw in the wake of Hurricane Irene, culverts are more likely to blow out during floods, creating safety hazards, potentially damaging roads, structures and property, and requiring replacement. These failures are expensive: in addition to the hard costs associated with infrastructure repair, there are a cascade of other costs to local businesses in terms of lost revenues when roads are impassable or rivers can no longer support economically important species like brook trout.
What is The Nature Conservancy doing?
- Analyzing economics: The recently released Conservancy report, An Economic Analysis of Improved Road-Stream Crossings, highlights the economic, social, and ecological benefits of well-designed culverts as well as the key role they can play in adapting infrastructure to a changing climate. The report presents the monetary trade-offs of investing in well-designed culverts in the short and long-term, current economic and regulatory constraints for implementing well-designed culverts, and recommendations for moving forward at scale.
What is the future of this project?