Apparently, the turtles are also hurting in this recession. Florida and Massachusetts want to use part of their stimulus funds to help build “turtle tunnels” under major highways. Taxpayers, in an economic recession so bad that the government needed to temporarily take over part of private industry (think automotive), are funding the prevention of roadkill.
Florida’s Department of Transportation estimates $3.4 million will be required for such a tunnel. Activists supporting the ecopassage spending say they’ve been researching for years and there’s been no opposition until now. Of course, when they began the study eight years ago, I doubt they anticipated the recession or the stimulus bill. Saving wildlife is not the issue. Using taxpayers’ hard-earned money in difficult times to fund the turtle tunnels is.
“MassHighway and the NHESP hope to have a statewide priority list of turtle road-kill hot spots,” a local news story reported. Some of their stimulus funding has already gone to fund the research of the turtle population and the dangers they face.
Jobs are scarce and money is tight, but the turtles will be alright.