Services

We are a Kelowna-based company that specializes in a wide range of in-house services relating to Natural Resource Management.

Ecoscape conducts comprehensive environmental assessments that typically integrate components of, but are not limited to, the broad service categories listed below. Our work conforms to sampling standards such as those produced by the Resource Information Standards Committee (RISC) for British Columbia. In addition to field techniques, our group has a strong background in data analyses, interpretation, and report production. Coupled with this, all staff have a strong ethical responsibility and abide by the Codes of Conduct of their respected professions.

If your project needs are more complex and multi-disciplinary, we bring together a comprehensive team of associates that include hydraulic, geotechnical, and environmental engineers, planning specialists, groundwater scientists, and limnologists.

Our Services

Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessments review and evaluate the potential risks for adverse impacts on ecological resource values. Our diverse and extensive experience completing baseline ecological studies and inventories supports a well-informed framework for comprehensive spatially accurate Impact Assessments. We measure the habitat balance of existing baseline conditions against the potential post development scenarios and subsequently development mitigation and compensation strategies. Throughout these exercises, we factor in fundamental components of ecological landuse planning to protect important fish and wildlife habitat and function.

The following highlights our realm of experience with Environmental Impact Assessments. The scale of studies completed by Ecoscape range from single family riparian and terrestrial assessments to multimillion dollar private and public infrastructure and development projects.

Our services at a glance:

  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Studies and Reports
  • British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act Studies and Reports
  • Mitigation and Compensation Planning and Design
  • Landscape Restoration Planning and Design
  • Bioengineering
  • Regulatory Approvals (i.e., Fisheries Act, Water Act, Local Government, Environmental Canada)
  • Development Permits (Aquatic and Sensitive Terrestrial Ecosystem)
  • Riparian Areas Regulation
  • Environmental Sensitivity Analysis

Environmental Effects Monitoring

Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) is the monitoring of the effects of an industrial or resource-based activity on the receiving environment. Ecoscape has experience in the design and implementation of defensible qualitative and quantitative studies that assess the condition or response of ecological communities and organisms to such activities. Ecoscape is actively involved with long-term EEM and research studies in conjunction with the Shoreline Development, Energy and Power, Transportation, and Water Management sectors. Our experience ranges from the monitoring of effects of flow regulation due to hydro-electric power generation to assessing and quantifying the effects of development in our aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The following is a list services we provide as part of an effect EEM strategy:

Our services at a glance:

  • Benthic Invertebrate Community Monitoring
  • Fish community and fish health assessments
  • Long Term Water Quality Monitoring
  • Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping
  • Foreshore Inventory and Mapping
  • Biodiversity Studies
  • Population Studies
  • Productivity and Biomass Quantification
  • Watershed Management

Environmental Monitoring

Ecoscape provides sound solutions during environmental monitoring. We understand construction and engineering and the challenging logistics inherent to these projects. This understanding allows us to work with and alongside regulating agencies and contractors to ensure that the project stays on track and Best Management Practices for the protection of precious watercourses, important terrestrial habitats and ecosystems, and sensitive Wildlife are adhered to. This intern mitigates the exposure to liability of provincial and federal environmental laws and regulations for all parties involved.

We are Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) with over 50 years combined experience with environmental monitoring of private and public infrastructure development. Ecoscape staff have conducted numerous environmental monitoring projects for a wide variety of clients throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Our experience, attention to detail, and knowledge of the various provincial and federal regulations combined with our positive regulatory relationships, enables an efficient and effective system for Environmental Monitoring and Management.

Our diverse environmental monitoring services include:

  • Fish Passage Restoration
  • Stream Crossings
  • Dams and Dykes
  • Water Intakes
  • Water Quality
  • Municipal Water Intakes
  • Pile Driving
  • Work in and About a Stream/Lake
  • Bridge Construction
  • Culvert removals
  • Shoreline Protection
  • Bioengineering
  • Fish Salvages

Habitat Restoration

Ecoscape biologists have significant experience in the area of habitat restoration and enhancement. Our areas of expertise include the restoration of areas that have been changed as a result of several factors including habitat degradation, disturbance through development or suppression of natural disturbances (e.g. fire). Biologists at Ecoscape use their knowledge of natural processes and plant community associations to develop functional objectives for a project and subsequent prescriptions. A summary of our habitat restoration and enhancement related services, expertise are provided below/beside:

Our services at a glance:

  • Wetland enhancement and creation
  • Stream channel restoration
  • Shoreline restoration
  • Stream bank bioengineering
  • Riparian restoration
  • Instream habitat enhancement

Environmental Landuse Planning

Ecoscape combines experience from our various service categories to complete the necessary biophysical studies and analysis to inform project planners about important natural values and ecosystem services and functions. We in turn advise our clients how to design land use projects so as to first avoid key features and subsequently specify means to mitigate or to compensate for unavoidable impacts. Our strengths in Environmental Land Use Planning and management are demonstrated by experience in successful delivery of the following services:

Our services at a glance:

  • Official Community Plans
  • Neighborhood plans
  • Waterfront Plans
  • Environmental Sensitivity and Habitat Indexes
  • Environmental Sensitivity Analysis
  • Park planning
  • Source to Tap Assessments
  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Development Permit Area Designation
  • Development Permit Guidelines
  • Mitigation and Compensation Design
  • Landscape Restoration Design
  • Bioengineering
  • Regulatory Approvals (i.e., Fisheries Act, Water Act, Local Government, Environmental Canada) and Development Permits
  • Riparian Areas Regulation

Plants and Ecosystems

A strong understanding of ecosystems and associated plant communities is a fundamental component of environmental planning and management. This knowledge relates directly to habitat quality and suitability ratings for fish and Wildlife and is foundational to analysis and mapping of environmental sensitive areas.

Ecoscape staff have considerable experience classifying and describing ecosystems that occur from the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Ecotone of Ontario, to the vast boreal forests of the north, to the diverse ecosystems that occur throughout British Columbia. A summary of our plant and ecosystem related services, expertise, and professional interests are provided below/beside:

Our services at a glance:

  • Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping
  • Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory
  • Wildlife Danger Tree Assessments
  • Habitat Surveys
  • Vegetation Surveys
  • Wetland Classification, Evaluations and Mapping
  • Invasive plant surveys and management plans
  • Restoration Planning

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)/Geomatics

Ecoscape has a reputation for providing advanced Geographical Information System (GIS) services. Our experience in these applications has been demonstrated across all service sectors. Our GIS and mapping service is applied to the majority of projects undertaken by Ecoscape and plays a key role in the successful delivery of environmental management solutions. We understand the widespread potential of GIS and the availability of mapping information. When applied effectively, it is an integral component to the successful completion of our projects. Our GIS Services include:

Our services at a glance:

  • Mapping and Spatial Analysis
  • Bathymetric Surveys
  • Topographic Surveying
  • GIS Data Custodial and Management Services
  • Data warehousing
  • Data conversion
  • Data Management
  • Data consultation, evaluating client data requirements

Wildlife

Ecoscape has extensive combined experience in conducting effective Wildlife surveys, species inventories, and habitat assessments throughout western Canada and eastward into Ontario. We have a broad range of skills in species identification, Wildlife capture and handling, and habitat evaluation and assessment, including restoration of disturbed habitats. Ecoscape is able to apply this experience to develop comprehensive Wildlife management plans, impact mitigation techniques, and recovery strategies. We have access to a wide range of equipment and vehicles to allow us to complete Wildlife studies in any location, weather condition, or physical environment. A summary of our Wildlife services, expertise, and professional interests are provided below/beside:

Our services at a glance:

  • Breeding Bird Surveys
  • Mist netting and Banding
  • Pre-Construction Nest Surveys
  • Waterfowl Inventories
  • Amphibian and Reptile Surveys
  • Bat Identification and Inventory
  • Wildlife Collection and Salvage
  • Species at Risk Surveys
  • Small Mammal Trapping and Mark/Recapture Studies
  • Furbearer and Ungulate Winter Tracking Surveys
  • Invasive Species Identification and Management Planning
  • Biophysical Inventory and Biodiversity Assessment
  • Wildlife Inventories and Habitat Suitability/Capability Assessment
  • Wildlife Habitat Modeling and Mapping
  • Wildlife Management Planning and Monitoring

Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Ecoscape has a breadth of experience in fisheries and aquatic sciences. We possess a strong understanding of aquatic ecosystem communities (i.e., fish, invertebrates, and flora) and functions, and are proficient with the diversity of collection methods and standards employed by the industry. Our key staff have worked on aquatic ecosystems in British Columbia, Alberta, north to the Territories and east throughout Ontario. With a fleet of commercial vessels and properly trained staff, we are able to access remote sites and safely navigate inland waters ranging from large lakes and hydroelectric reservoirs to turbulent rivers. We pride ourselves for our strength in field logistics, and our ability to quickly adapt and troubleshoot to ensure safe and effective field data collection. A summary of our fisheries-based services, expertise, and professional interests are provided below/beside:

Our services at a glance:

  • Benthic Invertebrates
  • Fish and fish habitat inventories
  • Fish Stock Assessment
  • Fish Stream Classification
  • Fish Passage Assessments
  • Stream and Wetland Restoration Design and Bioengineering
  • Aquatic Habitat Indexes
  • Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping (SHIM)
  • Bathymetric Surveys
  • Wetland Inventory/Evaluation and Mapping
  • Foreshore Inventory and Mapping
  • Environmental Land Use Planning
  • Client and Regulator Liaison
  • Environmental Permitting, Licensing, Approvals, and Notifications
  • Water Quality Sampling and Monitoring
  • Fish and Aquatic Life form Salvage
  • Fish and Aquatic Habitat Compensation Planning and Monitoring
  • Invasive Aquatic Plant Management
  • Substance Spill Control Monitoring and Remediation
  • Compensation Design for Harmful Alteration Destruction and Disruption of Fish Habitat (HADD)
  • Instream Flow Restrictions/Thresholds
  • Riparian Area Regulation (RAR)

Species at Risk

Many of the projects Ecoscape has completed have involved identification, inventory, and habitat evaluation for rare and endangered Wildlife or species of management concern. Ecoscape is intimately familiar with provincial Best Management Practices, COSEWIC status and recovery reports, and RISC inventory methods related to the many identified Species at Risk within the Okanagan and throughout BC. Our collective experience encompasses knowledge in habitat preferences and requirements for the vast majority of terrestrial and aquatic At Risk species in the southern interior. Ecoscape has developed a number of site specific prescriptions to minimize impacts or restore habitat quality and connectivity for rare and endangered species based on a variety of Governmental and developmental pressures. Examples of our professional and volunteer experience with Species at Risk is provided below/beside:

Our services at a glance:

  • Burrowing Owl Release at Merritt, BC
  • Comprehensive rare plant surveys
  • Active and passive bat surveys
  • Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel Mark and Relocate Program in Okanagan Lake
  • American Avocet habitat evaluation and forage and nest habitat enhancement design
  • Kokanee Spawning Enumeration and Monitoring
  • Western Screech-Owl Surveys and Nest Box Installation
  • Western Painted Turtle Surveys and Road Crossing Design and Implementation
  • Western Grebe Nest Colony Suitability and Habitat Improvement
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker Surveys and Nesting Locations
  • Great Basin Spadefoot surveys and Relocation
  • Review and Comment on Various COSEWIC Status Reports and SAR Recovery Strategies

Surveying

Ecoscape has a strong reputation for providing advanced Geographical Information System (GIS) services.  Our experience in these applications has been demonstrated across all service sectors.  Our GIS and mapping service is applied to the majority of projects undertaken by Ecoscape and plays a key role in the successful delivery of environmental management solutions. We understand the widespread potential of GIS and the availability of mapping information.  When applied effectively, it is an integral component to the successful completion of our projects.

Ecoscape utilizes a suite of equipment that allows us to complete almost any survey.  Our equipment includes traditional survey grade total stations, decimeter level mapping GPS’s, GNSS Receivers for base stations, and RTK surveying.  Ecoscape also utilizes transducers for bathymetric surveying with all types of survey methods in addition to  laser scanning.

Some examples of surveys we conduct are:

  • Bathymetric Surveys
  • Topographic Surveys
  • Site Surveys
  • Stockpile and Volumetric Surveying
  • Fish Passage Assessments of Closed Bottom Structures
  • Tributary Migration Access surveys
  • Topographic Change Monitoring
  • Laser Scanning

Environmental Due Diligence (Phase I, II, III ESA)

Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment / Stage 1 & 2 Preliminary Site Investigation

A Phase I/Stage 1 is generally required as part of a commercial or industrial real estate transaction in to identifying potential environmental liabilities and to support financing. Phase I / Stage 1 involves reviewing information on historical and present land use to determine the presence of areas of potential environmental concern (APECs), potential contaminants of concern (PCOCs), hazardous materials, waste and other substances that may negatively affect future use of the property. A Phase II / Stage 2 is recommended when environmental concerns are identified on the property, and involve the collection of soil, vapour and/or groundwater samples to  verify or refute potential contamination identified in the Phase I / Stage 1.  We scope our preliminary investigations to satisfy client needs and objectives (e.g., financing, regulatory compliance), and endeavor to take an approach that reflects the risk tolerance of each client.

Detailed Site Investigation

If subsurface contamination is identified during the Phase II / Stage 2, a detailed site investigation will be completed to delineate the full extent of contamination (both vertically and horizontally), and to evaluate the severity of contamination.  Detailed site investigations generally provide the data and information needed to satisfy regulatory requirements, and serve as the framework for site remediation.

Site Remediation

Environmental remediation is the removal of contamination from receptive environmental media, including soil, vapour and groundwater. Remediation services are typically required if, after a detailed site investigation, it is determined that contamination at the inspected property presents a threat to human health and/or the surrounding environment. Remedial actions are typically requested and regulated by provincial or federal regulatory agencies.  Viable approaches to remediation are as varied as the contaminants and geology we encounter.

Groundwater Impact Assessments

Land development projects may impact local groundwater systems during construction and operation. Impact to groundwater and or surface water quality, quantity and flow may be caused due to the following:

  • Construction of impervious surfaces (e.g. homes and roadways),
  • Poorly designed stormwater infrastructure,
  • Addition of pre-load to the site
  • Groundwater extraction
  • Construction dewatering

This information generally provides a technical understanding of area hydrogeology and groundwater / surface water interactions within the proposed development area, and will can support an Environmental Impact Assessment if needed.

Ecoscape provides technical solutions to assessing groundwater impacts due to land development projects.

Services include:

  • A desktop review of available hydrogeological information
  • Installation of monitoring wells and piezometers at select locations to evaluate groundwater flow and conditions at the site, and to facilitate long term monitoring, if needed.
  • Single well response testing to assess soil hydraulic conductivity
  • Collection of groundwater and surface water samples to establish baseline/pre-development water quality
  • Groundwater modeling

Groundwater Supply Assessment and Development

Ecoscape offers a broad range of expertise related to the identification, development, management and protection of groundwater resources in both depositional and bedrock environments.  We have the tools to thoroughly evaluate site specific geological conditions, and have the proven ability to effectively coordinate with drilling, testing and pump installation contractors to ensure project efficiency.   Furthermore, our understanding of provincial and local government requirements, including those stipulated by the new Groundwater Protection Regulation under the Water Sustainability Act, allows our clients to make well-informed decisions.

Examples of groundwater supply and development services provided by Ecoscape include:

  • groundwater exploration and test well programs
  • aquifer testing/well pumping tests
  • groundwater quality and quantity characterization
  • well inspection and rehabilitation
  • aquifer protection planning
  • artificial groundwater recharge and injection well studies
  • aquifer mapping at local and regional scales
  • groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeling

Examples of source water protection services provided by Ecoscape include:

  • wellhead protection assessments
  • surface water and groundwater interaction studies, including Groundwater Under Direct Influence of Surface Water (GWUDI) and Groundwater At Risk to contain Pathogens (GARP).
  • groundwater recharge and budget analysis
  • delineation of well capture zones
  • contaminant source inventories

Waste and Stormwater Disposal to Ground Assessments

Understanding site hydrogeology is pivotal to the design and installation of onsite wastewater disposal systems. Ecoscape has experience in completing hydrogeological investigations to identify suitable areas for effluent disposal, evaluate applicable setbacks from sensitive receptors, and assist in system design within challenging settings.

Hydrogeological Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments are completed to ensure compliance with the BC Sewerage System Regulation (SSR), Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR), and/or applicable local bylaws.

System design within challenging settings such as:

  • Poorly draining/impervious soils
  • Shallow bedrock
  • High water table
  • Steep slopes

Surface and Groundwater Quality Monitoring

Many commercial and industrial facilities regulated by the provincial government require ongoing water quality monitoring and reporting.

We possess a  wide range of field monitoring and sampling equipment which provides us the ability to provide high quality, yet cost effective services. Ecoscape also prides itself in strong database management, and has proprietary automated data screening tools that are particularly useful for QA/QC  purposes. These tools are also used to compare water quality data with the applicable guidelines and standards, reducing the potential for human error.

Ecoscape has vast experience in designing and implementing annual groundwater and surface water monitoring programs for these facilities, including:

  • Landfills
  • Wastewater Treatment Facilities
  • Airports
  • Mines
  • Smelters