Kinder Morgan opponents launch chilly social media challenge

Opponents to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion are jumping into freezing cold water and showcasing it on social media to gain exposure for their cause.

#KMchallenge encourages pipeline opponents to jump into freezing cold water

Kai Nagata (right) and a friend kicked off the #KMChallenge by jumping into the frigid Seymour River in February. (Twitter/Kai Nagata)

Opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion are jumping into freezing cold water and showcasing their feat on social media to gain exposure for their cause.

"We're not raising money or anything," explains Kai Nagata, communications director for the environmental group Dogwood Initiative.

"It's just a reminder of what's important and what's worth defending. If we can have a little fun with it, get people outdoors, and show off how tough we are in British Columbia, that's just a bonus."

The #KMchallenge will soon be filling social media feeds if Nagata has his way.

Kesia Nagata accepted the #KMChallenge and dove onto the frozen Kispiox River in Northern British Columbia. (Facebook/Kesia Nagata)

He got the idea when he was challenged to go swimming in the Seymour River recently. With 2014's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in mind, he wanted a similar experience for those opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. And so, the #KMchallenge was born.

To take part in the challenge, those jumping in a body of B.C. water then call out others to do the same.

Kinder Morgan expansion approved

The final length of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, which ends at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia. (Paul Haavardsrud/CBC)

Construction of the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline is expected to start in September after it received federal approval last November. 

The planned expansion would triple the flow of bitumen oil from Alberta's oil sands to a terminal in Burnaby.

Kesia Nagata of the Kispiox River valley is showing her love for clean water and opposition to the Kinder Morgan expansion project but ran into trouble when the local swimming hole hasn't quite thawed enough yet to technically "submerge." 0:32

Hoping for creative challenges

"I'm hopeful other folks will test their metal and maybe raise the bar," said Nagata. "It would be great to see someone go on a BMX or snowboard."