KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Volunteers associated with the Ecology Action Centre and various naturalist groups conducted a “Bio-Blitz” on the proposed route for the gas pipeline slated to supply the Alton Gas Storage project in Brentwood.
A bio-blitz is an inventory of biodiversity, carried out by volunteers in a limited amount of time. Bio blitzes have been undertaken around Canada and the US, to compare findings with data contained in environmental assessments provided by project proponents.
The proposed gas pipeline for the Alton Gas storage project is set to cross the Stewiacke River Wilderness Area, although naturalists are strongly opposed. As well, the proposed Saint Andrews River Wilderness Area boundaries were modified at the time, presumably to accommodate the pipeline.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has strenuously objected to allowing a pipeline to pass through an important wilderness area, pointing out that there were alternate routes available.
The two dozen volunteers concentrated on areas north of the Stewiacke River. Organizer Danielle Moore said the group plans collect more field data in the spring.
One of the finds was a wetland only 20 metres from the river which the pipeline would have to be buried into. These wetlands were not identified by the consultants doing the environmental assessment for Alton Gas.
The consultants did identify and delineate a similar wetland also 20 metres from the river, but 200 metres from the proposed pipeline right of way.
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