"Save the Turtle" is Motto for State Highway Administration before Construction Starts on the Intercounty Connector
SHA, Volunteers and "Turtle Tracking" Dogs Collect Box Turtles before They Hibernate in Ground near the ICC
What: Many Maryland Terrapins fans want opponents to ďFear the Turtle" and rally behind their mascot, so itís natural that the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is taking extra steps to protect the Terrapin's cousin, the eastern box turtle. Working with local volunteers and dogs with a keen sense of turtle whereabouts, SHA and the Intercounty Connector (ICC) team will search areas that are known habitats for the turtles before the turtles burrow into the ground for winter hibernation. The team will tag each turtle with a transponder and release them where they were found. Before construction starts later this fall, SHA's contractor, Intercounty Constructors, will retrieve the turtles and move them to another hibernation site away from construction activity.
Why: SHA is sponsoring the turtle round-up, which is well above and beyond requirements for ICC construction. The extra effort underscores SHA's commitment to the environment, as well as the extensiveness of the ICC projectís environmental program.
When: Tuesday, October 2 at 11 a.m.
Who: Rob Shreeve, SHA Environmental Manager
Holly Shipley, Environmental Compliance Specialist
Local volunteers, handlers and dogs
Visual: Turtles with transponders; turtle search in the woods by specially-trained dogs and handlers
Where: Open field next to Shady Grove Presbyterian Church 16911 Redland Road, Derwood, Maryland
Directions: I-495N to I-270 SPUR N via Exit 38 toward Rockville/Frederick I-270 SPUR N becomes I-270 N; Merge onto I-270 LOCAL N via EXIT 8 toward SHADY GROVE ROAD Take EXIT 8 toward SHADY GROVE ROAD / REDLAND ROAD Take REDLAND ROAD ramp and merge onto REDLAND BLVD and stay straight to go onto REDLAND ROAD Location is directly north of Shady Grove Presbyterian Church 16911 Redland Road, Derwood
Background: The ICC Corridor is home to the eastern box turtle that goes into hibernation in late October and early November, very near the time when construction is expected to start on the westernmost segment of the ICC.
As part of SHA's environmental commitment, ICC staff and volunteers are collecting the turtles in order to attach tiny, harmless transponders to their shells before they burrow underground to hibernate. As excavation moves closer to their location, the box turtles can be located, via their transponders, dug up and relocated to a suitable local setting. If moved sooner, the turtles may migrate back to their original homes Ė and into harmís way.
Suitable outdoor attire and footwear recommended.