[ March 11, 2013, CBS 8 News ]
Monarch butterflies migrate north from Mexico every year, and they normally number in the millions. But experts say not this year, because the population is rapidly declining.
In this News 8 video story, Shawn Styles reports from Windansea with why there is such a sharp drop-off and what's being done to save these butterflies.
[ December 30, 2012, Magazine ]
ECOLIFE has been implementing aquaponics programs in San Diego for more than three years. Our effort to spread the word about aquaponics has been well received by the community, and our monthly workshops have consistently sold out. With the growth of our aquaponics program, it has become clear that we need to bring this remarkable system into California classrooms and offer unique learning and even career opportunities to some of the most under-served families in our state.
Enter the ECO-Cycle AquaponicsTM kit. This innovative desktop system turns a standard fish aquarium into a productive garden. Sized for a standard 20-gallon aquarium and suitable for smaller tropical aquarium fish and goldfish (as opposed to food fish like tilapia), the ECO-Cycle AquaponicsTM kit engages families and students in a fun, creative, and productive form of sustainable agriculture.
[ July 10, 2012, Magazine ]
Ten years ago, a small team of friends and colleagues set out to create an organization that would be different from and more effective than any others in our field. We wanted to create a conservation organization with a level of appeal that would span social and political spectrums.
We knew that in order to have greater success than traditional groups, we needed to better account for humanity in the equation. It had to be more than hiring local guards for land or wildlife, training guides or even educating new biologists – we wanted to find our way into every single home, and in the process of conserving resources, impact every life in a positive way. From that dream, ECOLIFE was born.
[ December 28, 2011, Sign On San Diego ]
Growing up, Alexis Chavez wanted to be like Jane Goodall, the revered British researcher who left England at 26 and headed for the wilds of Tanzania to study chimpanzees.
Chavez, 25, followed suit after graduating from The New School University in New York City with a degree in environmental conservation.
“I thought I’d better see if I could live in the middle of nowhere with animals before I committed to embarking on this career,” she said. “So, I went and volunteered at various projects in Namibia and South Africa. That’s where my journey began.”
[ November 28, 2011, Magazine ]
As we approach the end of 2011, it is only natural to look back on the past year, reflect on all we have accomplished and dream of the year to come. We often get asked what exactly ECOLIFE does. The short and simple answer is we are working to improve the quality of life for humans, wildlife and nature. How does ECOLIFE accomplish this? Our approach is unique in that we implement sustainable humanitarian solutions to ecological issues. We aspire to be a leader in conservation and production of sustainable food, fuel and water in biologically significant habitats. Our work extends beyond Southern California to the other parts of the globe in East Africa, and down to Central Mexico.
[ September 20, 2011, Press Release ]
Aquaponics is the symbiotic growing of plants and aquatic animals in a re-circulating environment. With near zero environmental impact, these systems can be used to produce high-quality hormone free fish and a wide variety of organic vegetables, all without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Water is cycled between the fish tanks and vegetable growing area, which uses ninety percent less water than conventional gardening and can be utilized as means of reducing the need to import fish and vegetables from outside sources.
Workshops will be held on the following dates: Saturday October 15 and 22 from 10am to noon. Registration fees for each workshop are $30 per person and includes an aquaponics manual and light refreshments. Custom workshops are also available for groups of six or more people. Those interested can contact ECOLIFE for more information.
[ August 04, 2011, Magazine ]
Welcome to ECOLIFE's new quarterly publication! Inside this inaugural issue you'll read about our important work in Uganda, learn how you can travel to Central Mexico with ECOLIFE to visit the amazing Monarch Butterfly Reserve and catch up on news and events surrounding our organization.
Founded in 2003, ECOLIFE utilizes conservation as a tool to protect and improve human life, wildlife and natural resources. This approach allows ECOLIFE to intertwine humanitarian and conservation efforts, thereby creating programs that provide sustainable solutions that address the root causes of humanitarian and environmental issues. ECOLIFE programs provide communities with measurable health benefits, greater economic stability, and higher standards of living.
[ July 14, 2011, Sign On San Diego ]
The region's conservationists are marking the 10th anniversary of the San Diego River Park Foundation and a grant for ECOLIFE.
The river park foundation celebrates its 10th birthday on July 17 with a fundraiser/party at Mosaic Wine Bar. It was co-founded by 4th generation San Diegan Rob Hutsel, who still works as the organization’s executive director. He started the group after a multi-million gallon sewage spill that ran into the San Diego River for several days.
[ July 05, 2011, Press Release ]
ECOLIFE, a not-for-profit organization that provides ecologically sustainable solutions to address root causes of humanitarian and environmental issues, was awarded a $25,000 grant from Disney’s Friends for Change Latin America, also known as Disney’s Amigos por el Mundo (in Spanish) and Disney’s Amigos Transformando o Mundo (in Portuguese). In 2010, during the first year of this environmental multi-platform initiative, kids voted and helped decide how Disney would distribute $250,000 in grants among 12 twelve conservation projects focused on climate, water, waste, and habitats.
With their votes, kids supported ECOLIFE’s Ejido Communities Fuel-Wood Project in Central Mexico, a community-based conservation project that helps protect monarch butterfly habitat and directly improves the quality of life for communities within and surrounding Central Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
[ May 15, 2011, Examiner.com ]
ECOLIFE and its founding director Bill Toone recently received the prestigious new “Stand for Sam” EARTH award in honor of Sam Murray and Sam Murry’s Future Farm Foundation.
[ April 17, 2011, SignOn San Diego ]
What do San Diego's environmental leaders do in their day-to-day lives to make a difference? A lot. The San Diego Union-Tribune visits with ECOLIFE Executive Director Bill Toone and finds out more about his home aquaponics system.
[ March 25, 2011, CBS Evening News ]
After record low numbers last year, the monarch butterfly population is on the rebound. But, as Seth Doane reports, they are not in the clear just yet.
[ December 11, 2010, SignOn San Diego ]
Escondido-based conservation group ECOLIFE has secured funding from Disney to build an unusual farm in Uganda that combines growing fish and vegetables in a system that recirculates water.
Friends for Change has donated more than $2 million to environmental causes around the world.
[ November 29, 2010, ECOLIFE Press Release ]
The Aquaponic Economics: Going Ape in Uganda program from ECOLIFE has been selected by The Walt Disney Company as a recipient of funding through Disney’s Friends for Change.
Aquaponic Economics: Going Ape in Uganda is among the five programs that have been chosen for their environmental efforts.
[ November 08, 2010, Mongabay.com ]
As autumn settles across North America, one hallmark of the season is the gentle southward flight of the Monarch Butterflies as they migrate towards the forests that shelter their species during the winter months. Unfortunately, as with other forests across the planet, the Monarch's "over-wintering grounds" in Mexico are suffering from increased human pressures.
[ , Fox 5 San Diego ]
[ April 11, 2010, CBS Sunday Morning ]
The annual migration of the Monarch butterfly leaves anyone who sees it All a-flutter, but how much longer this rite of spring will continue no one knows.
[ March 30, 2010, CBS Evening News ]
Every spring, blue skies in Michoacán, Mexico, turn orange. For centuries, millions of monarchs have gathered in these same ancient forests, traveling from as far away as Maine, North Dakota, and even Canada. They weigh just a fifth of a penny, but so many flapping wings can sound like falling rain.
[ November 08, 2009, SignOn San Diego ]
During the first rainy season after his move into a ranch-style home above Lake Hodges, Bill Toone was amazed at the "river of water" swirling down his driveway and into a storm drain across the street.
[ October 01, 2009, SignOn San Diego ]
After spending two decades trying to protect monarch butterflies, the leader of an Escondido-based nonprofit group yesterday joined officials from Mexico and California to launch a plan for restoring woodlands where up to 750 million of the insects spend their winters.