Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program Ongoing Request for Proposals

 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 RFP in order to solicit proposals for the implementation of eligible ILF Projects to be funded through the ILF Program.

This RFP will be administered in two stages: 1) pre-proposal; and 2) full proposal. At the pre-proposal stage, respondents will submit specified information described in the Pre-proposal Requirements Section below for evaluation by NFWF. If a respondent is successful in the pre-proposal stage, the respondent will be invited to submit a full proposal.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS AND FUNDING AVAILABILITY

Funds are continuously being received by NFWF via credit sales.  Therefore, the total funds available for the implementation of eligible ILF Projects and the watershed Service Areas (“Service Areas”) within which the eligible ILF Projects are to be located are variable.  For the most current funding opportunities in the applicable Service Areas, please click on the link below.

This RFP solicits  eligible ILF Projects in all Service Areas where funding is available; however, high priorities at this time are the following Service Areas, as depicted in Maps 1 through 3 and the Google Earth KML files below, for the following aquatic resources types:

  • King River Watershed Aquatic Resource Service Area - wetlands, other Waters of the United States, Waters of the State          
  • San Joaquin River Watershed  Aquatic Resource Service Area - wetlands, other Waters of the United States, Waters of the State     
  • Southern Sierra Foothills Vernal Pool Service Area - vernal pool wetlands        

King River Watershed Aquatic Resource Service Area (larger map available here)

King River Service Area.jpg
San Joaquin River Watershed Aquatic Resource Service Area (larger map available hereSan Joaquin River Service Area.jpg
Southern Sierra Foothills Vernal Pool Service Area (larger map available here

Southern Sierra Foothills Service Area.jpgGoogle Earth KML files for all Aquatic Resource Service Areas and Vernal Pool Service Areas can be downloaded from the Program website.

ILF PROJECTS

Projects must provide on-the-ground wetland and/or waters restoration (re-establishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), and/or enhancement; in certain circumstances, preservation projects may be acceptable, but they are generally not preferred. Projects may be stand-alone proposals or may be an identifiable component of a larger restoration project. 

In each case, the restoration, enhancement, and/or preservation benefits provided 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).  The complete 2008 Rule is available here

Proposals will be evaluated against various performance-based and financial metrics, including their ability to address the objectives specified in the ILF Program’s Compensation Planning Framework available here, and the Ecological Objectives for Aquatic Resource Service Areas or the Prioritization for Vernal Pool Service Areas.

  • King River Watershed Service Area Ecological Objectives available here.
  • San Joaquin River Watershed Service Area Ecological Objectives available here.
  • Southern Sierra Foothills Vernal Pool Service Area Prioritization available here.

ELIGIBILITY

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

PRE-PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

All completed pre-proposals should include the following summaries and descriptions:
  1. Project Description (not to exceed five pages)
  2. Property Description (not to exceed two pages)
  3. Biological Resources Summary (not to exceed three pages)
  4. Feasibility Summary (not to exceed ten pages)
All completed pre-proposals should include the following supplementary attachments:
  1. Pre-proposal Budget Form.  Sample template available here.
  2. Title Report.  If the Title Report is not available, please provide the reason in the Property Description.  Please also provide information as to when and how the Title Report may become available in the future.
  3. Property Boundary Map
  4. Map of Aquatic Resources Located on Property
  5. NRCS Soil Survey.  If the NRCS Soil Survey is not available, please provide the reason in the Biological Resources Summary.
  6. Short and Long Term Monitoring Table

More information on the requirements above can be found in the Pre-proposal Checklist.

FULL PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

More information on full proposal requirements will be available once Applicants have been invited to submit a full proposal.  Applicants should be prepared to answer all questions listed on the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources Rule Compliance Worksheet available here.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All proposals will be screened by NFWF for relevance, accuracy, completeness, and compliance with NFWF policies. Selected proposals will then be evaluated by NFWF and an interagency review team (“IRT”) consisting of representatives of the Agencies, as applicable. NFWF and the IRT will evaluate proposals based on the extent to which they meet the Project Evaluation Criteria available here. Applicants should review the scoring criteria and prepare proposals accordingly.
 
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 NOAA- or 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. 

HOW TO APPLY

All application materials must be sent to Jana Doi at Jana.Doi@nfwf.org

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

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