Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program Spring 2017 Request for Proposals

Pre-Proposal due date: March 17, 2017

Full Proposal due date: April 21, 2017

Overview

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (“NFWF”) Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program (“ILF Program”) was established in October 2014 and approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (each an “Agency” and collectively the “Agencies”) in accordance with the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources Final Rule (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332; and 40 CFR Part 230) (the “2008 Rule”).

The ILF Program offers permittees an in-lieu fee option to satisfy their compensatory mitigation obligations as determined by any of the Agencies, as applicable, for impacts to aquatic resources authorized under the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and other applicable laws, in the “Program Area,” which covers the geographic area under the jurisdiction of the Sacramento District of the USACE within California. For reference, the overall Program Area is subdivided under the ILF Program into discrete geographies comprising 17 “Aquatic Resource Service Areas” and 12 “Vernal Pool Service Areas.” The ILF Program offers two types of Credits: 1) Vernal Pool Credits for authorized impacts to vernal pool wetlands; and 2) Aquatic Resource Credits for authorized impacts to wetlands (excluding vernal pools), other Waters of the United States, Waters of the State, and certain species.

As a result of sales of Aquatic Resource Credits and Vernal Pool Credits to date, NFWF has accumulated certain funds that may be made available to fund projects that establish, enhance, restore, or, in certain circumstances, preserve wetland resources in an applicable Service Area (“ILF Projects”). NFWF is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to solicit proposals for the implementation of eligible ILF Projects to be funded through the ILF Program.

We anticipate that proposals will be accepted and funds will be awarded on a semi-annual basis with two application cycles each calendar year. This RFP will be administered in two stages: 1) Pre-Proposal; and 2) Full Proposal. At the Pre-Proposal stage, applicants will be required to complete and submit the Pre-Proposal Application Form included as Appendix A of this RFP. If an applicant is successful in the Pre-Proposal stage, the applicant will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal and review timeline for the current review cycle is included as Appendix B of this RFP.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

Eligible ILF Projects must be located in the ILF Program Area and must be located in a Service Area with adequate funding available to fully cover the costs of project implementation, either alone or in combination with other funding sources. ILF Service Area maps are included as Appendix C of this RFP and KMZ files can be downloaded on our website at: http://www.nfwf.org/ilf/Documents/Aquatic%20Resource%20Service%20Areas%20KML%20Files.zip. The amount of funding currently available by Service Area is summarized in Appendix D of this RFP. These amounts represent the maximum amount of funding that may be requested for an ILF Project at this time. However, credit sales are ongoing and additional funding may become available at any time.

ILF Projects must generally provide on-the-ground wetland and/or waters restoration (re-establishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), and/or enhancement. However, in certain circumstances preservation projects may be acceptable, particularly in cases of difficult to replace resources such as fens and vernal pools. ILF Projects may be stand-alone projects or may be an identifiable component of a larger restoration project.

In each case, the restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation benefits to be provided by a proposed ILF Project must be clearly demonstrated and must meet all applicable requirements set forth in the 2008 Rule. These requirements are set forth in the 2008 Rule at 33 CFR Part 332.8(j) and 33 CFR Part 332.4(c)(2)-(14); and 40 CFR Part 230.98(j) and 40 CFR Part 230.94(c)(2)-(14).

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local government agencies, Indian tribal entities, educational institutions, and private businesses.

Application and Review Process

To be eligible for ILF Project funds, ILF Project applicants must first submit a completed Pre-Proposal Application Form by 5:00 pm PST on March 17, 2017. Completed Pre-Proposal applications must be submitted via email to:

Chris Gurney
Wetlands Program Director, Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts (IDEA)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Christopher.Gurney@nfwf.org

When submitting a Pre-Proposal Application Form, please include “ILF Program Pre-Proposal Application Form” and the project name in the subject line. The Pre-Proposal Application Form is included as Appendix A of this RFP.

All Pre-Proposals will be screened by NFWF for relevance, completeness, and compliance with ILF Program policies. Applicants invited to submit Full Proposals will be notified by March 24, 2017 and Full Proposals will be due by April 21, 2017.

Full Proposals must be submitted in the format of a Prospectus and must address all twelve elements of a mitigation plan as required by the 2008 Rule (see Appendix F for a sample Prospectus). These twelve elements include:

  1. Objectives
  2. Site Selection
  3. Site Protection Instruments
  4. Baseline Information
  5. Credit Determination Methodology
  6. Mitigation Work Plan
  7. Maintenance Plan
  8. Ecological Performance Standards
  9. Monitoring Requirements
  10. Long-Term Management Plan
  11. Adaptive Management Plan
  12. Financial Assurances

Full Proposals will be evaluated by NFWF and an interagency review team (“IRT”) consisting of representatives of the Agencies, as applicable. NFWF and the IRT will evaluate the Full Proposals based on the extent to which they meet the Project Evaluation Criteria included as Appendix E of this RFP. In addition, projects will be prioritized based on their ability to aid in the achievement of existing regional biotic and aquatic resource goals, including addressing  objectives described in the Interior Department’s High Priority Goals for Climate Change, local Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWMPs), the State Water Resources Control Board’s Compilation of Water Quality Goals, recovery goals as outlined in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)- or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)-issued recovery plans, and/or other large-scale resource protection planning efforts (e.g., regional Habitat Conservation Plans), as appropriate for individual Service Areas.

Funding decisions will be announced in early June 2017 and NFWF will reach out to successful applicants with additional information shortly thereafter.

Application Assistance

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

Chris Gurney
Wetland Program Director, Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts (IDEA)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
90 New Montgomery Street, Suite 1010
San Francisco, CA 94105
Direct: (415) 593-7627
Fax: (415) 778-0998
Christopher.Gurney@nfwf.org
 
Jana Doi
Manager, Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts (IDEA)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
90 New Montgomery Street, Suite 1010
San Francisco, CA 94105
Direct: (415) 243-3102
Fax: (415) 778-0998
Jana.Doi@nfwf.org