Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program 2018 Request for Proposals

 Full Proposal Due Date: November 30, 2017 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

Over the past three decades, shorebird populations have been declining throughout their range. Their survival is challenged by long distance migrations between stopover sites that connect breeding and non-breeding habitats. The degradation of just one site can have a profound impact on the health of shorebird populations. Implementing conservation across the geographic range of these species is required to address multiple threats impacting shorebirds. A “flyway” approach recognizes the need to be active throughout a species’ range and coordinate efforts involving many organizations working together across political boundaries to effectively conserve shorebirds. In 2009, NFWF and partners piloted a business plan that aimed to reverse declining populations of American oystercatcher. By simultaneously addressing human disturbance and predation across the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, declines in American oystercatcher populations were reversed. Building on this success, in 2014, NFWF and partners launched the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program business plan. The business plan targets 15 federally listed or declining shorebird populations and identifies five conservation strategies to address threats to shorebirds by (a) protecting habitat, (b) minimizing predation, (c) reducing human disturbance, (d) reducing harvest pressure, and (e) filling knowledge gaps. NFWF is soliciting proposals that address one or more of these strategies along the Atlantic Flyway. The overall cumulative goal of the business plan is to increase focal shorebird populations 10-15% by 2025. NFWF’s focus will continue to build on its initial investments to conserve critical breeding and staging areas in the United States, and where applicable, include efforts to address threats to shared species at non-breeding sites along the Atlantic Flyway. This request for proposals anticipates awarding up to $725,000 in federal and private sector funding in support of the strategies outlined in the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program business plan.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Current geographic priorities include important breeding, staging and wintering areas along the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Atlantic coast with a focus on coastal areas in Delaware Bay, Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Georgia’s coastal islands and estuaries, and the St John’s River and coastal areas of north eastern Florida. NFWF will also consider projects that advance our understanding of threats to critical wintering habitat for red knot along the northern coast of Brazil, Lagoa do Peixe in southern Brazil, and priority sites from Samborombon in Argentina south to Bahia Lomas in Chile.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program goals. In 2018, the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program seeks projects in the following program priority areas: 

  1. Integrate green and grey infrastructure needs at important sites along the Flyway.
    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 natural resource use (e.g. bait fisheries, oyster and shrimp production) and the conservation need of other species.

  2. Restore wet and dry sand habitats for shorebirds along the Atlantic coast 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. The following strategies are priorities: (a) develop regionally applicable Best Management Practices to be adopted by local, state and federal government managers of the U.S., Canadian and Caribbean shorelines; and (b) pursue opportunities to restore and reestablish high quality, intertidal (wet sand) habitats and/or supratidal habitat previously lost to incompatible engineering practices at critical sites in the temperate region.

  3. Reduce the impact of predation and human disturbance on populations of breeding shorebirds along the U.S. Atlantic coast.
    Human disturbance and predation can severely limit the reproductive success of beach nesting species including American oystercatchers and plovers. NFWF will consider targeted investments at important breeding sites to address predation pressures. Projects that lead to a sustained effort to reduce predation (e.g. incorporation of techniques into management plans) will be prioritized.  

  4. Fill information gaps.
    Efforts to collate and analyze information on species populations as well as the status and prioritization of important shorebird sites, are considered a major priority of this phase of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program. The following are of interest to the Foundation at this time: (a) compile lessons learned in the implementation of the American oystercatcher business plan (2008-18) with recommendations for future actions (such as through a workshop with a written report); (b) complete a site index monitoring strategy to measure progress towards achieving goals of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Program business plan for red knot; and (c) strengthen long-term monitoring of shorebirds in Delaware Bay and key areas identified in the section on “Geographic Focus” (areas must share significant populations of shorebirds using the Bay). 

There are no restrictions on eligible program applicants beyond meeting the minimum 1:1 non-federal match expectation. 

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 applicants invited to submit a full-proposal 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 not shown in the table below, the table summarizes the most appropriate metrics for desired activities).  If you believe an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact Ian Davidson (ian.davidson@NFWF.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

​Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance​
​Habitat Restoration ​Beach/ 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)
​​​​​​​Habitat Management ​#BMPs ​Enter number and location of BMPs developed, for specific engineering projects
​BMP 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 
​#  tools developed that are used by decision-makers ​Enter the number of tools developed that are used by decision-makers
​# engineering and design plans developed ​Enter the number of engineering and design plans developed. Generally there will be 1 plan per project to be constructed. 
​Predator Management ​Predator removal - Acres with goals met. ​Enter the number of acres with predation reduction goals met. It is helpful to define the area with respect to species range and to include the number of predators (by taxa) removed.
​​Harvest management ​ ​Mortality rate ​Enter the mortality rate
​# of habitat units (e.g. landscapes, patches, reaches) with improved status ​Enter the number of habitat units (e.g. landscapes, patches, reaches) with improved status
​Species Outcomes​ ​ ​# individuals ​Enter the number of individuals or population estimate or the number of individuals 
​# breeding pairs ​Enter the number of breeding pairs
​​​​Planning, Research and Monitoring​ ​ ​ ​ ​Acres being monitored​ ​Enter the number of acres being monitored
​Miles being monitored ​Enter the number of miles being monitored
​# monitoring programs established or underway ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway
​#  studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform mgmt decisions ​Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform mgmt decisions
​Capacity and Outreach ​# FTE with sufficient training and skills engaged in conservation activities ​Enter the number of staff or full-time equivalents with sufficient training and skills engaged in conservation activities

Reporting the # of volunteers participating in conservation activities and the number of Part Time Employee and Full Time Employee participating in conservation projects is encouraged. In addition, metrics reporting increased knowledge are also welcomed.​


ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, businesses, 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 Conservation Program anticipates having approximately $725,000 to award in funding for grants this year. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $50,000 to $200,000 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 and will be considered in application review. 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.

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.

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.

Transferability – Project has potential and plan to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.

Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.

Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.

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.

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 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.  (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.)

OTHER

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 (OMB Uniform Guidance).

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 high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.

Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable.  Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF.  A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.

Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), 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.  As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.

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.

Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF.

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 Conservation Program).

​​​Full Proposal Due Date
​November 30, 2017 by 11:59pm EDT
Review Period
​December 2017 - February 2018
Awards Announced
​March 2018

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 at Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Conservation Program.

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page (http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/applicants/Pages/home.aspx).

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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