2016 Electronic Monitoring and Reporting RFP

2016 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Full Proposal Due Date: Monday, June 13, 2016 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will award grants that catalyze the implementation of electronic technologies (ET) for catch and compliance monitoring in U.S. fisheries. We anticipate awarding approximately $3.4 million through this solicitation.

The Electronic Monitoring and Reporting (EMR) Grant Program will advance NOAA’s sustainable fisheries goals to partner with fishermen and other stakeholders to systematically integrate technology into fisheries data collection and observations for fisheries management. The EMR Grant Program – administered as a separate program under the Fisheries Innovation Fund – is focused on advancing the implementation of ET. Specifically, the Program will solicit proposals that develop and implement promising ET that improve the timeliness of fisheries data, increase knowledge of fisheries for management purposes, and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

The Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program is a national program and will consider proposals from all U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

In 2016, the EMR Grant Program will support the implementation of voluntary cost-shared electronic monitoring and reporting programs that support fisheries conservation and management. Priority fisheries include the charter for-hire recreational fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish fishery, and any other regional fishery fleet interested in implementing ET to enhance data currently collected through the use of human observers. With regard to on-going evaluations of EMR technology on small-fixed-gear boats, priority will be given to proposals that utilize currently available technologies that contribute in the near term to improved fisheries management, including but not limited to catch or discard data (see Senate Report 114-66 accompanying the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016).

The EMR Grant Program will consider proposals that strengthen ET implementation and catalyze the adoption of electronic monitoring and reporting programs consistent with the NOAA Fisheries Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans, or data collection programs identified by Regional Fishery Management Councils. NOAA and the Fishery Management Councils created the Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans to provide a schedule of where and how to adopt appropriate electronic technologies, if any, for all fishery management plans. To read the individual regional plans, click on the links below:

The Program will prioritize funding to the implementation of regional-scale electronic monitoring and reporting strategies, including but not limited to fleet-wide and/or sector-scale solutions. Proposals likely to be competitive under the EMR Grant Program will:

  • Advance cost effective implementation of priorities identified in the Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans;

  • Improve reporting and monitoring of fisheries including but not limited to, assisting commercial and recreational fisheries with acquiring and deploying appropriate ET needed to increase accountability and advance at-scale implementation of the Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans. This may include development of a clear roadmap with timelines to advance ET and/or innovative incentives for fishermen participation in improved monitoring;

  • Build on successful pilot project(s), or on other ET implementation projects that have demonstrated that the approaches being proposed will increase the quality of the fisheries data and the speed of the data entering the management process;

  • Improve capacity to ensure that electronic data being reported from the field are :1) communicated and processed efficiently, 2) meet appropriate standards for chain of custody, confidentiality, and archiving, and 3) comply with rigorous standards needed for inclusion in stock assessments, catch accounting, and management (and provide at a minimum, trip level catch or discards at least by species and number); and

  • Coordinate closely on data management with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In addition, the Program will also consider projects developing, testing, or piloting electronic monitoring and reporting technologies if they demonstrate a high likelihood for effectively addressing current management or science needs. Projects that develop innovations are most likely to be competitive if they improve:

  • Automated Catch Accounting – Develop and test innovative technologies that support automated catch accounting. This may include further development and refinement of image recognition technologies, stereo cameras, etc.

  • Data Storage & Management – Develop and test innovative technologies that address challenges associated with the analysis and storage of large volumes of data. This may include projects that develop open-source software capable of minimizing the amount of data that requires storage, increases the speed of video review, and/or file compression.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for reporting. Metrics should be selected based on their ability to demonstrate how the grant will advance implementation of electronic technologies consistent with the Regional Electronic Technologies Implementation Plans. 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 Kristen Byler (Kristen.Byler@nfwf.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Example Project Activity

Recommended Metric

Additional Guidance

Example project activities are given for demonstration purposes only and are not meant to be inclusive of all activities that could be associated with a given metric.

Metrics available in the Easygrant full proposal application.

Please review the additional guidance carefully to determine if a given metric is appropriate for your project.

Develop a formal plan to implement an EM/ER monitoring program

Management or Governance Planning - # plans developed

Number of plans developed with input from multiple stakeholders and that identify monitoring objectives. Examples of types of plans may include implementation plan, operations plan, data management plan, software design document, etc.

Participants agree to, and comply with, an incentive agreement (e.g., implementation plan, exempted fishing permit, vessel monitoring plan, etc.)

Participants complying with their incentive agreement - # participants in compliance

Number of participants complying with an incentive agreement developed through the project

Implement a regional-scale EM/ER monitoring program

Monitoring - # vessels in monitoring program

Number of vessels directly engaged/participating in monitoring program(s)

Implement a regional-scale EM/ER monitoring program

Monitoring - # of trips monitored using electronic technology

Number of fishing trips monitored using EM/ER technology over the grant period. In the notes, please specify total number of trips taken.

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, including Regional Fishery Management Councils.

  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 2016 EMR Grant Program will award approximately $3.4 million in grants. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $200,000 to $500,000, although upper or lower limits to award size are not specified.

The EMR Grant Program will receive proposals under one of two funding opportunities. Proposals focused on the New England groundfish fishery should follow guidelines provided under #2: New England Groundfish – Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program. All other proposals should follow the guidelines provided under #1: Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program.

  1. Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program Proposals that implement electronic monitoring and reporting solutions in any US fishery should apply under this opportunity, except the New England groundfish fishery. A minimum of a 1:1 match of non-federal cash and/or in-kind services is required for these grants.
  2.  New England Groundfish – Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program This opportunity is reserved only for proposals that will implement electronic monitoring and reporting solutions specifically for the New England groundfish fishery. A minimum of a 0.5:1 match of non-federal cash and/or in-kind services is required (i.e., New England groundfish applicants must provide match that is equal to half of the total award amount requested); this reduced match requirement is due to the availability of non-federal funds that can only be applied to the New England groundfish fishery.

Applicants will be prompted to include information on other sources of funding for the project in the application section entitled “Matching Contributions.” Project periods may run for up to two years.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All proposals, regardless of fishery or geographic focus, 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 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 Proposals.

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. Data collected can be integrated with existing Federal data collection programs.

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).

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.

Transferability – Project has potential to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or other fisheries. Full proposals should describe the project’s plan to share lessons learned.

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

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 describe how the benefits and results of the project will be sustained over time.  This should include, when appropriate, 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 developing, piloting, and/or 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 (Fisheries Innovation Fund)

Full Proposal Due Date June 13, 11:59pm Eastern
Review Period June 14 – August 31
Awards Announced by August 31

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. There are two separate Funding Opportunities available for this RFP. Please select the appropriate opportunity for your proposal based on the guidance provided above.
    • Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program – 2016
    • New England Groundfish – Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program – 2016
  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. This document 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:

Kristen Byler
Kristen.Byler@nfwf.org
(202) 595-2445

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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