On June 26, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) awarded Allen Curry of the Canadian Rivers Institute $2.8 million to conduct an aquatic ecosystems study on the St. John River. It is the largest collaborative research and development grant ever awarded in Atlantic Canada.
The study will be used to support NB Power’s future decision on the Mactaquac Generating Station, a 670-megawatt run-of-the-river hydro generating station on the St. John River. With the facility’s service life expiring in 2030, NB Power is currently examining how future options might impact people and the environment ahead of choosing a path forward in 2016.
“This funding will help Dr. Allen Curry and the Canadian Rivers Institute continue their leading research and will benefit the entire St. John River Valley for many years to come,” said Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton.
Under the leadership of Dr. Curry, a team began evaluating key environmental challenges related to Mactaquac’s future, including river health, fish passage, and flow management, in 2013.
“This is leading research with global significance, conducted right here in New Brunswick,” said Eddy Campbell, president of the University of New Brunswick which founded the Canadian Rivers Institute. “The work undertaken by the Canadian Rivers Institute on this project is literally being watched around the world. It is a compelling example of how UNB fuels both innovation and the economy in New Brunswick.”