Fuss & O’Neill and SWCA Environmental Consultants conducted surveys for rare plants and animals within the approximately 10-acre survey area associated with the proposed new tunnel construction adjacent to the Route 15 Heroes Tunnel.
The objective of these surveys was to document all observed plant species, including any rare species, any rare wildlife species observed, and general habitat conditions within the survey area. The CTDOT indicated that there were four target species: two plants, Carolina Whitlow-grass (Draba reptans) and Hoary Plantain (Plantago virginica), and two animals, Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) and Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus). However, the surveyors also searched for any other rare species that could occur within the observed habitat types.
The systematic survey of the area yielded observation of 185 plant species, including one Species of Special Concern, Creeping Bush-clover (Lespedeza repens). The two targeted state-listed plant species (Carolina Whitlow-grass and Hoary Plantain) were not observed despite favorable habitat. Meander surveys and stationary monitoring for rare reptiles (Eastern Hognose Snake and Five-lined Skink) also were not observed, despite favorable habitat.