Large-scale Chinook salmon research project receives CBT Biosphere Research Award

Every year, the CBT grants a $20,000 Biosphere Research Award to support research that advances the local understanding of conservation challenges in our marine and/or terrestrial ecosystems and helps us prioritize conservation actions within the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region.

We are excited to announce that the 2020 Biosphere Research Award will help support a large research collaboration to better understand juvenile Chinook salmon survival and growth during their first year of life in the freshwater and marine environments of West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI). Led by the Thornton Creek Enhancement Society, the project involves extensive partnerships with Toquaht Nation, Central Westcoast Forest Society, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Pacific Salmon Foundation, as well as Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations. Research will be conducted across Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds over several years with a total project budget approaching $200,000.

Chinook (also known as Tyee, King, or Spring salmon) are the largest salmon species in the pacific salmon genus and are highly valued culturally, recreationally, and commercially. They are also keystone species in both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems they inhabit. However, Chinook stocks have been in decline in terms of both the quantity and size of fish along the entire North American coastline, with WCVI stocks continually shown to be one of the most underperforming stocks in B.C.

Research indicates that if Chinook populations experience high mortality during the early life stages, little can be done to improve population outcomes. In other words, any work that improves juvenile survival can have the greatest effect on population size when compared to other life-history stages. The information generated by the project will increase local community fisheries research capacity while informing management, enhancement, and conservation decisions for the entire WCVI region.

Specifically, the project seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are the survival and growth rates of hatchery-produced Chinook in-river and is there a difference in survival and growth depending on where in the river hatchery fish are released?
  • How do hatchery growth and survival compare to wild fish? When and where are hatchery fish and wild interacting?
  • When/Where is early life mortality occurring? Are there bottlenecks to survival?
  • How long are fish residing in freshwater vs salt?
  • What are the depth and temporal habitat preferences of juvenile fish in the study area? Where are these preferred habitats?
  • What is the genetic composition of juvenile Chinook in the study area? What rivers did they come from?

The CBT would like to thank the volunteer technical review committee members who took their time to review four excellent submissions to the 2020 CBT Biosphere Research Award. To learn more about the winning project or how you can help support these research efforts, please contact Dave Hurwitz, Executive Director of the Thornton Creek Enhancement Society at

Audit Services Invitation to Tender

October 25, 2021
The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Society (CBT) is requesting tenders from qualified firms of public accountants to audit the financial statements of the CBT for the year ending December 31, 2021, and if a contract is assigned for each fiscal year ending during that period.

Join our team as an At-Large Director

September 24, 2021
The CBT is seeking expressions of interest in a 4-year volunteer term as Alternate At-Large Director. The CBT exists to support research, education and programs that advance conservation, the understanding of natural processes in the marine and terrestrial ecosystems and that promote the health of individuals and communities in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region. The CBT relies on the vision and strategic direction of a committed Board of Directors representing a diversity of experience, skills and interests supportive of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere designation.

2021 Discretionary Grants

August 6, 2021
Every year, the CBT provides small project funding (up to $5,000) in the following four areas: Research and Environment, Community Development, Arts and Culture, and Youth and Education. Each granting stream is built upon different funding priorities and overseen by its own Advisory Committee comprised of 12-15 local volunteers with interest and expertise relevant to the specific grant.

2021 Youth Action Grants

July 21, 2021
Our Youth Action Grants are one of the ways we fulfil our priority of Empowering Youth in the region. This is our 7th year offering youth-led grants and we are always inspired by the creative projects and their beneficial ripple effects in the community.

New Nelly Heyduck Art Collaboration

July 2, 2021
Nelly Heyduck has created a beautiful new print depicting our biosphere region in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere designation.

Announcing the 2021 Vital Grant Awards

June 24, 2021
Our Vital Grant program began in 2018 with the goal to address regional priorities and complex challenges influencing sustainability in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region. These $15,000-20,000 grants support meaningful collaboration between organizations, communities and cultures and must include a minimum of two project partners. This year, the CBT also reviewed Vital Grant applications with an equity lens by considering whether projects addressed regional social and health inequities.

2021 Biosphere Research Award

June 14, 2021
We are so pleased to share the details of Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society’s project funded by our Biosphere Research Award for 2021!

Announcing the Spring 2021 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants

May 14, 2021
We’re thrilled to announce the project funded by CBT’s spring 2021 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants! These grants are designed to help us foster connection in our communities during the pandemic when many of us can feel isolated and vulnerable. When we feel a sense of belonging in our community, we're more likely to be engaged in activities that make it a better place to live.

Holiday Giving Catalogue raises over $42K for regional charities

January 13, 2021
Over the month of December, the CBT worked alongside 20 local charities to raise funds for our most critical needs. Donors answered the call to stand together to strengthen our communities and ecosystems and together we raised $42,675. These gifts of all sizes will have a collective impact in a region that means so much to us all.

Emergency Community Support Fund Round 2

December 14, 2020
As the social and economic implications of the pandemic continue, community-serving non-profits are struggling to keep up with the increased need for responsive services and programming while facing significantly lower revenues than typical years. The CBT is proud to announce 5 diverse community projects receiving $30K in funding from Round 2 of the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) from the Government of Canada, via the CBT. In total, $70K has been granted from the ECSF. Check out the list of organizations and projects who have received funding here!

Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants: a show of west coast community resilience

August 19, 2020
We’ve wrapped up our COVID-19 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) and couldn’t be more proud of our west coast communities! The 4 months since we launched the program have been a wild and unpredictable ride, but west coasters have come together to support each other— while maintaining physical distancing— in many inspiring and innovative ways.

CBT collaborates on a new SDG Guidebook

August 13, 2020
This week, Community Foundations of Canada launched a Guidebook and Toolkit to help Canada's 191 Community Foundations—and all the communities they support—find bolder, creative and innovative ways to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. CBT research director, Laura Loucks, helped author a case study on p. 29 about our organization's dual role as a community foundation and UNESCO Biosphere Region.

We've met our Giving Catalogue fundraising goal

July 2, 2020
On Giving Tuesday Now (May 5th) CBT launched the Community COVID-19 Response Giving Catalogue, a place where west coast registered charities and not-for-profits share current and emerging needs with people who want to help. We are excited to announce that we have met our $30,000 for local organizations!

Red dresses in the office window

June 30, 2020
If you walk by the CBT office at 316 Main Street later this week, you may notice the red dresses hanging in the front window. The simple and elegant dresses are adorned with black silhouetted feathers and bring awareness to the staggering amount of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) across Canada, but especially those from our community.