Alton Natural Gas Storage Provides Funding to Support IKANAWTIKET Study of the Shubenacadie River System

Posted on June 20, 2016

Stewiacke, Nova Scotia (June 20, 2016)

Alton Natural Gas Storage is providing $95,000 to IKANAWTIKET Environmental Incorporated to help fund a two year study that is currently underway on the Shubenacadie River System.

IKANAWTIKET, an Aboriginal environmental educational charity, proposed the independent research project, The Shubenacadie River: Tying Communities Together, to multiple funders, including the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project. The aims of the study are to collect baseline water quality and biodiversity habitat information, as well as document the historical and current use of the Shubenacadie River system along a 30-kilometre stretch from the mouth at Cobequid Bay near Maitland and Black Rock to the confluence with the Stewiacke River near Rines Creek and Fort Ellis.

“One of the goals of this project is to tie communities together in a combined effort to educate people on what can be done to maintain the sustainability and biodiversity of the Shubenacadie River for future generations,” said Joshua McNeely, Executive Director of IKANAWTIKET. “Alton’s contribution to this research project will help us better understand the River System and provide a tool for future restoration and conservation projects.”

As part of the study, IKANAWTIKET researchers will collect water and mud samples from streams and estuaries flowing into the Shubenacadie River to identify and examine potential sources and composition of any significant habitat pollutants. They will also identify and document activities taking place along the streams and estuaries which may contribute to habitat degradation. Areas along the river system requiring habitat restoration or mitigation will be identified for future action.

IKANAWTIKET is also talking to local residents, Aboriginal Elders, local fishers, historians, and others to learn about the long and storied history of the Mi’kmaq, Acadian, and English use of the Shubenacadie River as an early highway, including an intricate canal system. The Shubenacadie is also an important fishing area, a rich agricultural area, was once the location of numerous ship builders, and many other uses which have sustained generations. With the information and partnerships along the way, IKANAWTIKET hopes to be able to develop some educational materials for the local communities and residents to share what was learned.

“We are pleased to support this research project that will contribute further environmental knowledge about the Shubenacadie River system,” said Tim Church, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations for AltaGas Ltd. “This will add to the significant research studies on the river to date, including the research studies by Alton and Dalhousie University.” 

Other organizations supporting the research project include: the Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariat, Mime’j Seafoods Limited, and Nova Scotia Adopt-A-Stream.

About Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P.

To help meet the increasing demand for affordable natural gas year-round in Nova Scotia and to support the demand for clean, reliable energy, Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. is developing an underground natural gas storage facility and associated pipelines in the Stewiacke Salt Formation near Alton, Nova Scotia. The new gas storage facility will help stabilize Nova Scotia’s natural gas costs year-round by storing the gas in the summer months when the demand is low and withdrawing the gas in the colder winter months, when the demand is high. For more information, visit

About IKANAWTIKET Environmental Incorporated:

IKANAWTIKET Environmental Incorporated is an Aboriginal environmental educational charity that promotes the preservation of the natural environment through education and informing the public about environmental issues and biodiversity in the Maritime Provinces, and Aboriginal culture, worldviews, and knowledge in relation to the environment. IKANAWTIKET advances education by undertaking research that is made available to the public, providing training/instruction, offering courses, seminars, conferences, meetings, and developing educational tools related to the field of the environment. IKANAWTIKET benefits the community by preserving and protecting the environment through the preservation protection, and restoration of rivers and increasing the public’s understanding of the environment and its importance. For more information, visit:

For further information, contact:

Lori Maclean – Project Public Relations
(902) 789-6111
[email protected]

Joshua McNeely – Executive Director
(902) 895-2982
[email protected]

AltaGas Ltd.
Media Relations
(403) 691-7197
[email protected]