Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative 2017 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: December 1, 2016 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

Over the last three decades, shorebird populations have been declining throughout their range. Their survival is challenged by long distant migrations between two or more stopover sites that connect breeding and non-breeding habitats. The degradation of just one site can have a profound impact on one or more species. Implementing full-lifecycle conservation across the geographic range of these species is required to address the multiple threats impacting shorebirds. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to conserve priority sites for shorebirds along the Atlantic Flyway. The Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program goals and associate outcomes are expressed at three levels: 1) the entire Program, 2) for each species, and 3) by conservation strategy. While the overall cumulative goal of the Program is to increase focal shorebird populations 10% by 2025, NFWF’s focus will build on its initial investments to improve populations of American oystercatcher, and expand to include Endangered Species Act listed species (e.g. red knot) and species with populations in steep decline (e.g. semipalmated sandpipers). Five conservation strategies were identified to address the major threats and lack of knowledge, these include a) protect habitat, b) minimize predation, c) reduce human disturbance, d) reduce harvest pressure, and e) fill knowledge gaps. In 2017, NFWF will award approximately $975,000 in grants. Major funding for this Program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southern Company.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Grants will be awarded to partnership-based projects that significantly advance the conservation of shorebirds at priority shorebird breeding, staging and wintering areas (with a focus on USFWS National Wildlife Refuges, Important Bird Areas, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites, and other protected areas) within the geographies outlined in the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program. Emphasis will be given to projects at priority sites in the United States or at international locations where full-life cycle conservation can be demonstrated through established linkages that connect organizations and sites to a common conservation strategy for a species (e.g. Red Knot – links between Delaware Bay and coastal sites along the Guianas coast, Brazil and Argentina). 

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to achieving the goals of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program. In 2017, the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program seeks projects to address one or more of the following strategies:

  1. Address incompatible management issues:
    Ameliorate the adverse effects of incompatible use of natural resources and build consensus for strategies that balance shorebird conservation needs with objectives of stakeholders engaged in profit-driven natural resource use (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture, salt extraction, other) and the conservation needs of other species. Program priorities will support:
    • Structured decision making processes or other approaches aimed at determining the most appropriate management solutions to minimize impact of natural resource use/ extraction on priority staging/ feeding/ roosting beaches.
    • Ongoing monitoring (e.g. through trawl surveys) to estimate mid-Atlantic horseshoe crab population to inform harvest decisions in Delaware Bay.
  2. Restore wet and dry sand habitats for shorebirds along the Atlantic Coast that were lost to incompatible coastal engineering practices:
    Reverse the trends in habitat loss due to incompatible engineering practices that have greatly reduced or eliminated vital coastal environments for shorebirds dependent upon beaches and marshes. The following strategies are priorities:
    • Develop regionally applicable Best Management Practices (BMP) to be adopted by local, state and federal government managers/ decision-makers of the U.S., Canadian, Caribbean or South American shorelines.
    • Restore and reestablish high quality, intertidal (wet sand) habitats and or supratidal habitat previously lost to incompatible engineering practices at priority sites in the temperate region.
  3. Reduce the impact of shorebird harvest in shooting swamps and coastal reserves in Barbados, French Overseas Territories, and along the coast of the Guianas: 
    Achieving a sustainable harvest of shorebirds where harvest is legal and decreasing the illegal harvest of shorebirds in the Caribbean islands and northern South American countries are major objectives of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program. Priority will be given to projects that:
    • Increase management and protection of hunting reserves on Barbados and the Caribbean French Territories.
    • Strengthen hunting policies and regulations at the country or regional level, including the establishment of a Flyway Harvest Council for the Caribbean.
    • Promote sustained subsistence hunting at critical sites in the Guianas.
    • Increase our knowledge of the actual impact of hunting in this region.
  4. Fill information gaps:
    Efforts to collate and analyze information of species populations as well as the status and prioritization of important shorebird sites, is considered a major priority in the early phase of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program. This includes strengthening and expanding existing monitoring and assessment programs. The following are priorities for the Program:
    • Complete a population-wide assessment of the eastern breeding population of American oystercatcher and other shorebirds using protocols developed for the previous 2013 survey.
    • Complete site assessment for wintering habitat of red knot (rufa ssp).

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for reporting. We ask that applicants select only 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 Ian Davidson (ian.davidson@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
Habitat Restoration Land, wetland restoration - Acres restored (directly) Enter the number of acres restored (Notes helpful, especially with respect to reporting acres restored to date, new acres restored during period of performance, # plants installed)
Habitat Management ​ ​ ​ ​
Best Management Practice development and implementation - Miles of habitat improved
 
Enter the number of miles of habitat improved (i.e. maintained for critical habitat)
​Improved management practices - Acres under improved management Enter the number of acres under improved management (e.g. total acres of shooting swamps improved due to management actions)
For American oystercatcher – Best Management Practice implementation to mitigate impact of engineering projects - #nests Enter number of nests
For American oystercatcher  – Best Management Practice implementation to mitigate impact of engineering - #breeding individuals Enter number of breeding individuals
Policies - # developed/ implemented Enter the number of new policies developed or previous ones  strengthened
Species Outcomes For American oystercatcher - Population - # individuals Enter the population estimate (American oystercatcher)
Planning, Research and Monitoring ​ ​ ​ ​
Monitoring - # monitoring programs
The number of monitoring programs established or underway
Horseshoe crab – population  - # individuals, density Enter the number of individuals or density
#Best Management Practices Enter number of Best Management Practices developed, for what specific engineering projects and where
#Structured Decision Making plans Enter whether it was completed or not, indicate the degree to which it was successful in achieving its goal(s)
List priority actions at key sites for wintering red knot Enter information on priority sites and criteria used in their selection
Capacity and Outreach Volunteer participation - #volunteers participating Enter the number of volunteers participating in projects
Outreach/ education/ technical Assistance - # people reached Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of knowledge, aptitudes, or skills

ELIGIBILITY

  • Eligible and Ineligible Entities 
    • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, unincorporated individuals, international organizations. 
    • Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies.
  • 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.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND MATCH

The Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program has approximately $975,000 to award in funding for grants this year. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $25,000 to $250,000 range. However upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. A minimum of a 1:1 non-Federal match of cash and/or in-kind services is required. Projects may extend from one to three years.

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.

Required Criteria:

Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Program’s overall habitat and species conservation goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities outlined in the Request for Proposal.

Technical Merit – Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical and achievable work plan and timeline. Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation to ensure activities are technically-sound and feasible.

Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Budget Instructions cost categories. Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable.

Other Criteria:

Partnership – An appropriate partnership exists to implement the project and the project is supported by a strong local partnership that leverages additional funds and will sustain it after the life of the grant. Identify proposed partners, if known (including potential or contemplated sub-awards to third party sub-recipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships. (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.)

Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy.

Monitoring – Project includes a plan for monitoring progress during and after the proposed project period to track project success and adaptively address new challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Long-term Sustainability – Project will be maintained to ensure benefits are achieved and sustained over time. This should include how future funding will be secured to implement necessary long-term monitoring and maintenance activities.

Past Success – Applicant has a proven track record of success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.

OTHER 

General – Applicants will be required to indicate the status of all permits required to comply with federal, state or local requirements.

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not necessarily constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively. When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations. 

Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications. Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide and use high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.

Federal Funding Requirements – Projects selected to receive Federal funding may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Historic Preservation Act. Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s). Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals. Federally-funded projects must operate in compliance with the OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable to the applicant.

Quality Assurance – If a project involves significant monitoring, data collection or data use, grantees will be asked to prepare and submit quality assurance documentation (www.epa.gov/quality/qapps.html). Applicants should budget time and resources to complete this task.

Permits – Successful applicants will be required to provide sufficient documentation that the project expects to receive or has received all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state or local requirements. Where projects involve work in the waters of the United States, NFWF strongly encourages applicants to conduct a permit pre-application meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers prior to submitting their proposal. In some cases, if a permit pre-application meeting has not been completed, NFWF may require successful applicants to complete such a meeting prior to grant award

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative). 

Full Proposal Due Date 1 December, 2016 by 11:59pm EDT ​
Review Period ​January-February 2017 
Awards Announced ​March 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.

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:

Ian Davidson (ian.davidson@nfwf.org)

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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