Welcome to EcoWest News, a weekly round-up of news and resources that you can put to use in addressing environmental issues and protecting the wild in your community.

Across the West

Manitoba gets nearly 99% of its electricity from hydro power and BC 88%, but climate change is reducing snowmelt and accelerating evaporation and demand. The challenges of less energy in future could be minimized through efficiency, conservation, and behaviour change. [The Tyee]

Preparing Albertans for Climate Change e-course provides a series of videos and resources that shed light on how climate change is impacting Southern Alberta’s energy system, communities, transportation systems, food systems, and homes. The course and resources provide pathways for taking climate action and can be freely used in classrooms, at community meetings, or for other educational purposes. [UCalgary]

Jordan Rustad discusses her research into Regina’s urban wildlife on a U of R podcast. [11 min. audio, URegina]

A wildlife corridor near Kelowna, BC, is threatened by ongoing agricultural and urban development. [Washington Post] The Okanagan Nation Alliance, Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, and their partners have put together a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan.

Contrary to popular belief, False Creek is teaming with life. The False Creek Friends Society hopes it will receive national designation as an urban marine park to facilitate long-term stewardship. [CPAWS BC]

The Government of Alberta has placed restrictions on renewable energy that do not apply to any other sector. [Pembina] The buffer zones are arbitrary and do not take into consideration issues such as migratory flyways, wetlands, species at risk habitats. [CPAWS Northern Alberta]

Morden, MB, obtains its drinking water from Lake Minnewasta. Right now, the lake is 1½ metres below its normal level, and residents are being asked to voluntarily conserve water. [CBC] A new local climate action group hopes to bring the community together while addressing this and other climate challenges. [CBC]

The Prairies have experienced extreme droughts in the past, but longer, warmer summers will make future droughts worse. [CBC]

Across Canada

“Permanent transit funding could help double ridership on mass transit and reduce transport emission by 65 million tonnes by 2035—but only if the investment materializes, and comes with the right policies.” [The Energy Mix]

Green roofs can reduce urban heat levels and decrease the need for air conditioning. They’re also a boon for stormwater management and biodiversity. [The Energy Mix]

Around the World

Energy efficiency (reducing energy demand/consumption, setting stricter appliance standards) is often neglected. It needs to go hand in hand with renewables. [The Energy Mix]

Combine financial incentives with creative ingenuity and you may just come up with commercially viable solutions for gnarly problems like rare-earth magnet recycling from wind turbines. [Grist]

Boiling water for 5 minutes removes 25-90% of microplastics. [Yale Environment 360]

Making a Difference

Islanders, prisoners, and zoos are working together to reestablish Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies in the Pacific Northwest’s prairie ecosystems. [Hakai]

A company in New Zealand is turning discarded wood chips into more sustainable, synthetic graphite that can be used in EV batteries. [Euro News]

On the Bookshelf

Birding to Change the World tells the story of how Trish O’Kane became a birder and how it led her to community activism and birding clubs for kids. [The Revelator]

Nature’s Wonders

“Hundreds of millions of years ago, an earthquake sent a series of massive waves across the ancient sea that covered part of Western Canada and the northern United States.” [USask]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/49145038297

EcoFriendly West informs and encourages initiatives that support Western Canada’s natural environment through its online publication and the Nature Companion website/app. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Mastodon, or subscribe by email.