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

From nutrient-rich wetlands and 100,000 lakes to a dry southern region and an Arctic port, Manitoba is a province defined by water. A long-awaited water strategy will only be of value if accompanied by an effective action plan. [The Narwhal]

A map of contaminated sites across Saskatchewan paints a frightening picture. One company that has repeatedly failed to notify the government or landowners of contamination is Imperial Oil. [The Narwhal]

Agriculture companies and investors now own 2% of Saskatchewan farmland. What are the implications for young farmers, rural communities, and environmental practices? [CBC]

What do you do if there are no old, hollow trees for bats to roost in? In the short-term, you provide modified trees and wrap poles with artificial bark. In the long-term, you change logging practices. [Nelson Star]

Pulp and paper mills are economic generators, but they’ve also claimed 7 of the top 10 spots on a federal list of industrial water polluters in BC in 2018 and 4 of the top 10 spots for air pollutants: a profile of Crofton, BC’s ageing pulp and paper mill. [Hakai Magazine]

Across Canada

The Mobility Electrification Report provides a collection of best practices from smaller municipal governments across Canada that are considering infrastructure such as charging stations, electric fleets, and appropriate parking. [Climate Caucus]

Around the World

Grassy floating islands in urban waterways are attracting wildlife while the underwater plant roots absorb contaminants and support aquatic life. [Yale Environment 360]

Global Peatlands Assessment: The State of the World’s Peatlands provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the world’s peatlands, along with action governments should take to improve their protection, restoration, and sustainable management. [Water Institute, University of Waterloo]

Tampa, Florida, is experimenting with solar sidewalks as a backup power source for traffic lights during power outages caused by hurricanes. [Smart Cities Dive]


Quadra Island elementary school is restoring a wetland in their schoolyard. [Campbell River Mirror]

Start a business and tackle the plastic waste problem in your community. Precious Plastic offers open-source starter kits with everything you need to kick off your recycling project. [Precious Plastic]

“If you want to take a more mindful approach to shopping, these six tips will make you a savvier shopper, save you money, and help limit your environmental impact.” [Wirecutter]

“When it comes to buying things, adopting a slower shopping approach reduces your impact on the environment more directly and effectively than paying for carbon neutral shipping.” [Wirecutter]

Nature’s Wonders

The recovery of Oregon’s Fender’s Blue Butterfly relied on partnerships with ants, plants, scientists, prisoners, local landowners, fungi, and fire. [Rewilding]

What does the right whale sound like and how do they communicate? Listen to four separate ‘calls’ to find out when they're made or what they mean. [Discovery of Sound in the Sea]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/52526088820

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 subscribe by email.