Alaska Fish & Wildlife Fund 2016 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: October 19, 2016 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time 

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to further conservation of species and habitats in Alaska. Our conservation strategy for Alaska follows NFWF’s institutional outcome focused approach to species conservation, and includes three focal geographies:  The Arctic- Bering Sea, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, and Cook Inlet/Matanuska-Susitna watershed. Projects outside of these three focal areas that support sustainable fisheries or anadromous fish conservation in Alaska will also be considered. We expect that a significant portion of program funds will be dedicated to filling key information gaps through assessments and strategic monitoring. In addition, the request for proposals includes several funding priorities to help Alaskan communities adapt to changing distributions and pulses in wildlife resources, as well as to mitigate against future threats to species populations.

Support for this program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shell, and various other federal sources. Grants may be awarded using one or more of these sources of funding.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Current funding is focused in three geographies: the Arctic and Bering Sea, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, and Cook Inlet. Thematic areas of interest related to Pacific salmon conservation, sustainable marine fisheries, and Alaskan bird populations will also be considered.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

The Arctic & Bering Sea

Focal species include bearded seals, ringed seals, bowhead whale, polar bear, walrus, caribou, McKay’s Bunting, Steller’s and Spectacled Eiders, seabirds and Arctic breeding shorebirds. Funding emphasis is on mitigating direct threats to species populations, filling key knowledge gaps, and building capacity that will allow people and species to adapt to a changing environment. 

Current funding priorities include:

  • Support polar bear deterrence programs to minimize threats to villages, eliminate unnecessary mortality to bears, and help implement a successful co-management program.
  • Provide support to communities to expand or establish education and outreach programs that may help avoid mortality in walrus populations.
  • Reduce risk of vessel disturbance, oil spill contamination, and/or lethal strikes for human hunters, marine mammals, seabirds, and fish.
  • Facilitate improved communication and collaboration between public land managers and local villages.
  • Support conservation planning efforts and fill key information gaps on species populations that will result in improved monitoring and management, particularly for focal species likely to be impacted by increased industrial development in the Arctic. 
  • Population and threat assessments for McKay’s bunting and “Priblof” rock sandpiper on St. Matthew and Hall Islands.
  • Develop population assessment for spectacled eiders; support predator control and public education programs to increase Steller’s eider nest success around Barrow.
  • Identify and (where possible) mitigate colony based and sea-threats for breeding and non-breeding priority seabirds in the region (see region 7 USFWS priority seabirds).  

Yukon-Kuskokwim Region

The overall goal of the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) focal geography is to conserve the salmon, waterfowl, and shorebirds sustaining the rich and diverse ecological landscape and the people who live there. Focal species for this geography are Chinook salmon, Steller’s eider, and breeding shorebirds. NFWF seeks to support communities on the Y-K to find solutions that mitigate threats to resources and improve capacity for sustainable fish and wildlife management. 

Current funding priorities include:

  • Facilitate acquisition of improved hydrologic information essential to identify, monitor, and conserve key salmon resources in response to climate change and other factors by partnering  with state and federal agencies  to update the National Hydrography dataset
  • Contribute to understanding of various development scenarios that may be designed or implemented to minimize impacts to natural resources.
  • Develop education and outreach programs that integrate Alaskan Natives into natural resource management programs, species conservation efforts, and monitoring needs. 
  • Support efforts that will increase monitoring and enhance escapement models for Chinook salmon. 
  • Facilitate productive relationships among managers, local users, and commercial interests to find mutually agreeable alternatives for filling subsistence needs during times when Chinook runs are insufficient, in order to better protect those runs from becoming unsustainable.
  • Develop and implement a survey for breeding shorebirds.
  • Assess threats and status of shorebirds nesting in the Y-K Delta region.
  • Initiate a comprehensive survey of delta communities on subsistence use and take of shorebirds.
  • Assess feasibility of Steller’s eider reintroduction on the delta by conducting habitat suitability mapping, re-assessment of lead and contaminants and other potential threats, and assessing eider-habitat associations.

Cook Inlet

NFWF seeks to develop an estuary-wide approach to conservation planning for the Inlet and its watershed. NFWF seeks to support the following near-term actions while building a more comprehensive watershed management approach:

Current funding priorities include:

  • Studies to monitor eulachon populations in Cook Inlet and in their freshwater tributary spawning areas.
  • Assess threats to shorebird staging and non-breeding habitat.
  • Documenting patterns relating beluga distribution to the distribution and availability of their prey, as well as predation by orca whales.
  • Facilitate acquisition of improved hydrologic information essential to identify, monitor, and conserve key salmon resources in response to climate change and other factors by partnering with state and federal agencies to update the National Hydrography dataset.
  • Conduct surveys and assessments using tools such as NetMap to increase miles monitored for the Anadromous Fish Catalog and reserve water for key stream reaches. 

Thematic Areas of Interest

  • Pacific salmon protection, enhancement and restoration: initiatives through the Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships and/or in partnership with USFS, BLM, and NOAA are a priority.
  • Supporting sustainable marine fisheries: gear improvements, filling key knowledge gaps, and understanding fisheries interactions on marine mammal and seabird populations are a priority.
  • Develop comprehensive understanding of population trends, threats and actions for priority birds in Alaska.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for reporting. We ask that applicants select the most relevant metrics from this list for their project (all possible program metrics are shown in the table below).  If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Jonathan Birdsong (jonathan.birdsong@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

 

Project Activity ​Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
​Monitoring ​# streams/sites being monitored ​Enter the number of streams/sites being monitored.
​Monitoring ​# monitoring programs ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway.
​Fishing effort ​Catch per unit effort ​Enter the catch per unit effort.
​Reduction in by-catch ​# of individuals saved ​Enter the number of individuals saved through use of safer gear or practices.
​Reduction in by-catch ​# of fishing season days ​Enter the number of days open to fishing within the regular season.
​Fish passage improvements ​# passage barriers rectified ​Enter the number of fish passage barriers rectified.
​Research ​# studies reported to management ​Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are reported to management.
​Research ​# research studies completed ​Enter the number of research studies completed.
​Building institutional capacity ​# FTE with sufficient training ​Enter the number of staff or full-time equivalents with sufficient training and skills engaged in conservation activities.
​Tool development for decision-making ​# tools developed ​Enter the number of tools developed.
​Management or Governance Planning ​# plans developed ​Enter the number of plans developed that had input from multiple stakeholders.
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people with knowledge ​Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of knowledge, attitudes, or skills.
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people with changed behavior ​Enter the number of individuals demonstrating a minimum threshold of behavior change.
​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance ​# people reached ​Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities.
​Economic benefits ​% profitability ​Enter the percent of revenue represented by profit (profit/total revenue).
​Economic benefits ​# jobs created ​Enter the number of jobs created.
​Economic benefits ​# jobs sustained ​Enter the number of jobs sustained.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations, educational institutions, Indian tribes, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, and special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts).
  • Ineligible applicants include: businesses, unincorporated individuals, and international organizations.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds

  • NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to cover permanent federal employee salary expenses or supplement shortfalls in government agency budgets.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY & MATCH

Approximately $1,000,000 in grant funds are available. Grant awards generally range in size from $50,000 to $200,000, although grants greater than $200,000 can be considered on a case by case basis.

Non-federal matching funds or in-kind/contributed goods and services are required for all proposals. All potential sources, including federal sources, and amounts of match should be listed in the application for consideration during the review process. 

Additional information on funding policies, including financial documents required from applicants, types of eligible matching contributions, and NFWF’s policy on indirect costs, can be found on NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria.

  • Project Need: Describe the species and/or habitats at risk or potentially at risk, a description of its historic and current range, its importance as part of the greater ecosystem, and the factors that have caused a decline in the species population(s) or habitat. Discuss how the project complements or advances the goals of relevant regional strategic conservation plans, including, but not limited to, Alaska’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and strategic plans prepared by Alaska-based Fish Habitat Partnerships, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Alaska Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, USFWS Coastal and Partners for Fish and Wildlife strategic plans and USFWS priority species plans.
  • Long-Term Conservation Outcome(s): Discuss the quantifiable/measurable long-term outcome(s) for species and/or habitats that will be achieved, including how the project will restore resistance or resilience to climate change in species populations (if applicable). Identify how the outcome(s) are consistent with the goals of the relevant strategic conservation plans. 
  • Activities: Elaborate on the primary activities that will be conducted through the proposed project. Explain how these activities address conservation challenges, what new opportunities will arise from the activities and how they will lead to desired conservation outcome(s) described above. Describe how these activities relate to relevant regional strategic conservation plans and conservation needs. Discuss how this project either initiates or fits into larger efforts in the watershed, or, if this is a stand-alone project, how it will succeed in and of itself in restoring, protecting, or enhancing the species population(s).
  • Methodology: Describe how each activity will be implemented and the anticipated timeline.
  • Evaluation/Monitoring: Describe the strategy for monitoring and evaluating project results, including specifics on how success will be defined and measured. Please note any challenges or limitations you anticipate in interpreting anticipated results. Describe the monitoring plan, including those activities that will take place after completion of this grant. If possible, identify how post-grant monitoring will be funded. If this project is a continuation or expansion of an existing project, describe the status and results/outcomes achieved to date.
  • Proposed Partnerships: Identify proposed partners, if known, (such as potential or contemplated subawards to third party subrecipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships. If the project has any nexus with BLM, USFS, and/or USFWS lands, priority or other trust resources, discuss the agency’s involvement in the project. (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state, and federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in the completion of the project as a subrecipient of the applicant). If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund).

  • Full proposals are due on October 19th, 2016
  • Awards will be announced by March 16th, 2017

HOW TO APPLY

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to easygrants.nfwf.org to register in our Easygrants online system.  New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login).  Enter your applicant information.
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application.  Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

A PDF version of this RFP can be downloaded here.

A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application in Easygrants and can be downloaded here.

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page.

For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact:

Jonathan Birdsong
Director, Western Regional Office
Jonathan.birdsong@nfwf.org
(415) 243-3101

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

Easygrants Helpdesk
Email: Easygrants@nfwf.org
Voicemail: 202-595-2497
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday
Include: your name, proposal ID #, e-mail address, phone number, program you are applying to and a description of the issue

 

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