Southeast Native Bass Spring 2016 Request for Proposals

Pre-proposal due date: October 14, 2015 11:59PM Eastern time

Full proposal due date: November 23, 2015 11:59PM Eastern time

OVERVIEW​

The southeastern United States have a diversity of aquatic habitats and species unparalleled in North America. More than 1,800 species of fishes, mussels, snails, turtles and crayfish live in more than 70 major river basins in the region. Of these species, black bass are particularly important, both ecologically and economically. In 2006, more than 10 million anglers pursued black bass, more than any other fishing group, and generated $4.3 billion dollars in related revenue. NFWF's Southeast Native Black Bass Initiative focuses on conserving three endemic black bass found in the Southeast: Guadalupe bass in Texas, Redeye bass in Savannah, and Shoal bass in the Chattahoochee, Flint and Chipola Rivers.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is requesting proposals that support our goal to restore, protect, and enhance native black bass species in the Southeastern United States. Support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bass Pro Shops, and the Brunswick Public Foundation.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

In 2015, the Southeast Native Black Bass Initiative will provide funding to projects that produce measureable outcomes for black bass species of conservation concern, that fill critical information gaps that are essential to optimize NFWF’s conservation efforts, and provide essential coordination of stakeholders that implement the strategies outlined in the Initiative’s business plan. Proposals that implement strategies identified in the NFWF business plan will be most competitive.

Priority landscapes and species

Projects benefitting (1) Shoal bass (Micropterus cataractae) in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint river system (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) and (2) Red-eye bass (Micropterus coosae) in the Savannah watershed (Georgia, South Carolina) are priorities for funding in 2015.

Priority activities

Competitive proposals will address at least one of the priorities identified below. Note that additional context for these priorities can be found in the Initiative business plan and Tringali et al. (2015) Black Bass Diversity: Multidisciplinary Science for Conservation, American Fisheries Society Symposium 82, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Habitat restoration that addresses critical limiting factors to endemic black bass in areas previously identified as high priority through sound methodology - Restoration or augmentation efforts that address key threats to endemic bass populations, including hydrologic alteration, reduced water quality, loss of connectivity and the negative effects of nonindigenous species (e.g., predation, competition, and hybridization with native forms) will be considered for funding. These restoration efforts should draw from existing watershed plans and demonstrate how a given project fits into the broader context of a watershed-based restoration effort.

  • Coordination and capacity building - A project coordinator will facilitate a cohesive approach to implementing all strategies and activities outlined in this initiative. The coordinator will identify and contact Stakeholders in the planning stages of all actions undertaken through this Initiative. This position will work to garner support for the Initiative in general, to evaluate and prioritize conservation actions, and to identify partners for specific actions.

  • Population and genetic assessments of Shoal bass in the Flint basin and Redeye bass in the Savannah basin that build off of existing information and methodology - Introgressive hybridization with other species is a significant problem for endemic bass populations. Hybridization rates and extent of hybridization needs to be determined to set realistic goals for maintaining genetic integrity of endemic bass populations. Population status in select tributaries in these basins is an identified knowledge gap. Additionally, establishing longitudinal genetic baselines and identifying and determining the status of Shoal bass and Redeye bass in these basins is considered a priority to guide future conservation actions, including conservation stocking to reverse introgression. Studies developing quantitative assessment of Redeye populations throughout the Savannah River drainage and basic assessments of population structure will also be considered for funding.

  • Identify habitat requirements of Redeye bass at all life stages - While much has been learned about redeye in the Savannah, broad knowledge gaps remain with regard to the basic ecology and life history of this potential new species. Projects that fill critical gaps in our understanding of the habitat requirements of redeye bass at all life stages are considered a funding priority, as they are necessary to effectively implement conservation efforts.

  • Conduct threats assessments for the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint river system, and in portions of the Savannah basin, building off of existing work - A Watershed Threats Assessment was completed for the Chipola River Watershed by USFWS to inform conservation actions to benefit shoal bass and other native fishes and mussels. A similar assessment is needed for the rest of the ACF basin and portions of the Savannah basin to inform both the threats to endemic native bass populations and opportunities for watershed-based restoration.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, each proposal should document the outcomes of their proposed work by selecting the appropriate metrics below. Grantees should choose their outcome metrics while completing their application through the Easygrants system. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics from this list for their project. If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact NFWF to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity

Recommended Metric

Additional Guidance

Monitoring

Planning, research, monitoring – Monitoring – Miles being monitored

Enter the number of miles being monitored

Monitoring

Planning, research, monitoring – Monitoring – # monitoring programs

Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway

Volunteer participation

Capacity, outreach, incentives – Volunteer participation – # volunteers participating

Enter the number of volunteers participating in projects

Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance

Capacity, outreach, incentives – Outreach/Education/Technical Assistance – # people reached

Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities

BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction

Habitat management – BMP implementation for nutrient or sediment reduction – Acres under BMPs

Enter the number of acres with Best Management Practices (BMPs)

BMP implementation for livestock fencing

Habitat management – BMP implementation for livestock fencing – Miles of fencing installed

Enter the number of miles of fencing installed

Riparian restoration

Habitat restoration – Riparian restoration – Acres restored

Enter the number of riparian acres restored

Instream restoration

Habitat restoration – Instream restoration – Miles restored

Enter the number of instream miles restored

Fish passage improvements

Habitat restoration – Fish passage improvements – Miles of stream opened

Enter the number of stream miles

Fish passage improvements

Habitat restoration – Fish passage improvements – # passage barriers rectified

In the notes section of this metric please indicate what type of barrier is being removed (i.e. dam, culvert, etc.)

Erosion control

Habitat restoration – Erosion control – Miles restored

Enter the number of miles restored

Spring restoration

Habitat restoration – # springs restored

Enter the number of springs restored

Spring restoration

Habitat restoration – Additional acre feet

Enter the number of additional acre feet of water provided as a result of spring restoration


ELIGIBILITY

Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.

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 AVAILABLE AND MATCH

Up to $500,000 in grant funds is available. Applicants should provide non-federal match of at least $1 for every $1 of NFWF grant funds requested. Eligible non-federal matching sources can include cash, in-kind donations, and/or volunteer labor that is directly related to the project proposed for funding.

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.

Conservation Context – The project advances the Southeast Native Black Bass Initiative strategy and provides the context to relate the proposed work to the strategies described in the plan.

Program Goals and Priorities – The 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 Detailed Budget Instructions cost categories. Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable (OMB Uniform Guidance).

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.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information.

Pre-Proposal Due Date: October 14, 2015 11:59PM Eastern time

Invitations for Full Proposals Sent: Week of October 26

Full Proposal Due Date: November 23, 2015 11:59PM Eastern time

Review Period: January 2016

Awards Announced: March 2016

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 as application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

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

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

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

Programmatic priorities and project-related questions:

David Lawrence, PhD
Director, Freshwater Fish Conservation
Email: david.lawrence@nfwf.org 
Phone: 202-595-2451

Application process and online application assistance:

Eliza Braendel
Coordinator, Program Administration
Email: eliza.braendel@nfwf.org 
Phone: 202-595-2474

 

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