Water & Air ecologists conducted pedestrian gopher tortoise surveys along four Seminole County roadways planned for expansion from two to four lanes. The proposed expansions of Lake Emma Road, County Road 15, Eden Park Road, and Bunnell Road were needed to eliminate traffic congestion in a rapidly growing section of Seminole County. The proposed project areas were surveyed by a team of experienced wildlife biologists for the presence of protected gopher tortoises and other listed species prior to construction.
- Surveyed 6.4 linear miles of property adjacent to the four existing roadways.
- Performed pedestrian surveys on another 28 acres in 11 areas proposed as stormwater pond locations.
- Used precise global positioning system receiver technology to ensure complete coverage of the project area and determine tortoise burrow locations relative to the project boundaries.
A report was prepared for Seminole County Engineering Department summarizing the results of the survey, the GPS locations of tortoise burrows, and survey tracks to ensure complete coverage of the area. The information was used by project engineers to adjust locations of proposed infrastructure expansion, where possible; avoid impacts to areas containing a high density of gopher tortoises; identify locations of nearby tortoises populations that needed protection from construction impacts; and estimate of the number and location of tortoises needing relocation. Prior to construction, Water & Air certified Gopher Tortoise Agents conducted gopher tortoise relocations associated with these roadway expansions.