• aerial view of Stewart International Airport Vernal Pools
  • vernal pool in spring
  • vernal pool in winter
  • turtle on field
  • little green frog on leave
  • salamander
  • wood frog in autumn
  • Stewart International Airport animal crossing
  • deer across field
Newburgh, NY, airport upgrade helps conserve vernal pools

Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that can provide habitat for plants and animals. The word “vernal” means spring, and the pools are so named because they are often deepest during that season. Amphibians are well-suited for vernal pools because fish, which can be predatory, cannot normally survive in these pools. Several species of frogs and salamanders are dependent upon vernal pools for reproduction and the persistence of each population of these species is linked to vernal pools.

Challenge
Improved access was needed for the Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. To ensure that the upgrades would be made without harming the local ecosystem of nearby Stewart State Forest, the New York State Department of Transportation selected Louis Berger to mitigate the impacts of the construction project.

Solution
Louis Berger’s mitigation plan was developed in collaboration with biologists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Louis Berger conducted biological assessments and planned and designed 12 vernal pool sites and seven amphibian barrier and wildlife passages. The recommendations were used to establish guidelines for appropriate construction practices in mitigating impacts to vernal pool habitats. A long-term monitoring plan was also prepared and implemented by Louis Berger following construction of the mitigation features.