Bureau of Reclamation Klamath River Coho Habitat Restoration Program 2015 Request for Proposals

Pre-Proposal Due Date: December 16, 2015 by 5:00 PM Pacific Time

Full Proposal Due Date: March 9, 2016 by 5:00 PM Pacific Time (For invited applicants)

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in cooperation with its federal partner, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), is pleased to announce the Klamath River Coho Habitat Restoration Grant Program (Restoration Program) to enhance the survival and recovery of the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), a species listed as “threatened” pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act. The grant program will be coordinated closely among Reclamation, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and NFWF program management staff for the Klamath River Coho Enhancement Fund which provides funding in the same geography.

The goal of this competitive grant program is to meet requirements outlined in the 2013 Biological Opinion on Klamath Project Operations by providing support for projects in the Klamath Basin in California that address limiting factors facing SONCC coho salmon, have the greatest impact on promoting survival and recovery, and provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits. In FY 2016, approximately $1 million in Reclamation funds will be available to implement coho habitat restoration actions within the Klamath River and its tributaries. Successful proposals will address access improvement and fish passage barrier removal, habitat improvement and access to cold water refugia, as well as design, planning and monitoring activities, always making sure to demonstrate direct benefits for SONCC coho salmon.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

The purpose of this program is to improve fish habitat within the Klamath River Basin as affected by Reclamation’s Klamath Project, to minimize the adverse effects associated with operation of the Klamath Project, and to support restoration activities for SONCC coho salmon and its critical habitat. Specifically, these activities will focus on coho habitat restoration actions within the mainstem Klamath River and tributaries between Bogus Creek (inclusive) and the mainstem Salmon River (inclusive) with the upstream limit of potential restoration being natural impassable barriers.

Projects in other tributaries in the Mid and Lower Klamath River that contribute to coho salmon recovery and Reclamation’s Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(1) responsibilities are also eligible for funding if the review panel determines that project proposals within the primary focus area (described above and shown in the map below) do not meet the objectives of the restoration program for that year. The upstream limit for the secondary proposal area will also be natural impassable barriers.

To be eligible for funding, projects must be located in the areas depicted on the map below. The areas in blue are the Project Priority A areas (higher priority) and the areas in purple are the Project Priority B areas (lower priority).

klamathcoho-map-small.jpgA more detailed interactive map can be viewed and referenced.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Grant funding will be provided to implement projects that enhance the survival and recovery of SONCC coho salmon. In order to be eligible for funding, projects must have a direct benefit to SONCC coho salmon and/or be a design, planning or monitoring project that can demonstrate that it will provide a direct benefit for SONCC coho salmon, be within the geographic focus, and comply with Appendix C on pages 516-537 of the 2013 Biological Opinion.

The projects that will be given the highest priority are described below.

Access improvement and barrier removal projects:
These include projects to: (1) remove and address existing fish passage barriers including small dams, fords and culverts to create permanent access to spawning and rearing habitat; and (2) maintain and improve access to existing habitat. Examples of projects undertaken to remove existing fish passage barriers include barrier removals caused by road crossings (e.g., culverts), diversion dams, or other permanent or seasonal barriers that impede fish passage. Examples of projects undertaken to maintain and improve access include maintenance or modifications to tributary mouths to ensure access, including removal of swimmer dams, gradient barriers, log jams, and other types of impediments.

Projects that improve habitat and access to coldwater refugia:
These include projects to: (1) improve connectivity and habitat cover and complexity or maintain habitat cover and complexity (if already suitable) at coldwater refugia sites; (2) increase the extent and/or duration of coldwater refugia; and (3) enhance rearing habitat in key rearing sites. Projects to improve or maintain cover and the complexity of cover in refugia will include riparian planting, and placements of boulders, large woody debris (LWD), and brush bundles. Projects to increase the extent and/or duration of refugia sites will include improving movement and connection of flow from tributaries that feed refugia, and adding natural structures or deepening refugia sites to increase the duration and extent of the coldwater plume.

Instream habitat enhancement and protection projects:
These projects are necessary to provide rearing habitat for both oversummering and overwintering coho salmon. Project types may include removal or breaching of levees and dikes, excavating off-channel ponds and other rearing habitat, creating temporary access roads, constructing wood or rock structures, and construction of LWD habitat features including engineered logjams and beaver analogue structures.

Connectivity-related projects include in-channel enhancements and improvements to eliminate flow and thermal barriers (e.g., removal or functional upgrades of diversion structures or screens, channel modifications or impediment removal to improve flow and access). Projects to enhance rearing habitat in tributaries will include channel reconstruction, floodplain connection, off-channel habitat creation and connection to increase available habitats provided by tributary channels, side channels, alcoves, and ponds. Projects to protect summer rearing habitat will include riparian fencing and planting and instream structure placement.

Water Conservation Projects:
These projects will help prevent seasonal and temporary flow-related fish passage barriers and improve water quality in key rearing and spawning areas. Project types may include instream leasing and irrigation forbearance agreements, permanent transfers of water instream, tailwater reduction projects, water storage tanks and piping of ditches that ensure protection of the enhanced flow using tools such as 1707 instream dedications or others.

The above listing identifies program priorities that have been found to assist in minimizing the impacts of operation of the Reclamation’s Klamath Project in a timely manner. However, any project that complies with Appendix C of the 2013 Biological Opinion will be considered.

Multi-year projects are eligible and encouraged to apply to this program in phases, although this Restoration Program is not an applicable funding source for start-up or research projects that will not result in direct benefits to SONCC coho salmon upon project completion or within 5 years of selection. Grant recipients will be required to demonstrate the ability to fulfill the Restoration Program’s contractual requirements (as described on page 7 of this RFP) to acquire applicable landowner permissions and to ensure environmental compliance, including any regulatory permits or approvals.

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Restoration Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees to choose from for reporting. We ask that applicants invited to submit Full Proposals select the 1-4 most relevant metrics from the drop down list which will be provided in the Full Proposal Application. If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Andrew Purkey to discuss acceptable alternatives. A monitoring form with appropriate metrics will be included in the application to be submitted by those project sponsors invited to submit a Full Proposal.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, local and municipal governments, resource conservation districts, state and federal agencies, Indian tribes, educational institutions, mutual water companies, irrigation districts, and businesses.
  • Ineligible applicants include: unincorporated individuals and international organizations.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds

  • NFWF grant funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF grant funds may not be used to finance compliance with another regulatory obligation, including permit conditions, and mitigation agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.

FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND MATCH

The Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Coho Habitat Restoration Program will award $1,029,780 in Year One, $500,000 in Year Two, $500,000 in Year Three, and $500,000 in Year Four. The following are key elements of this funding opportunity:

  • Grant awards will range in size from $50,000 to $500,000 per project, although more funding could be allocated for projects with large benefits for SONCC coho salmon or are multi-year projects that implement annual restoration and/or conservation actions.
  • Grants for single projects are typically awarded to projects that can be completed within three years. Some larger-scale projects may warrant consecutive multi-year funding requests. These requests will be considered on a year-by-year basis and must describe what will be accomplished during each project phase to qualify for consideration.
  • Grants may also be awarded for projects that require annual action such that they provide the greatest benefit if they are performed year after year. These types of projects can receive a “renewable grant” for up to 4 years without formally re-applying through the NFWF Easygrants online application system. Such multi-year “renewable grant” projects will be required to detail the funding requested for each year of the project and explicitly document in their proposal the actions that will be implemented during each year of the project as well as the anticipated results from those actions. Applicants desiring to be considered for a “renewable grant” must be explicit about this in their proposal, and annual funding will be provided as long as the project is selected in the competitive process and continues to be implemented successfully.
  • NFWF will not provide reimbursement for any project expenditures prior to the grant award project period and will not be liable for such expenditures. However, to help the applicant comply with match requirements, successful grant applicants will be authorized to capture match funding specifically related to the project proposal for a period that is no longer than one year prior to the date of submission of the full project proposal application (if invited) to NFWF.
  • Projects that demonstrate strong partnerships and that have funding from various partners/donors to support a significant portion of cost of the project being submitted are strongly encouraged. Although matching funds are optional, projects that leverage other funds will be given higher priority consideration. Documented leverage can include federal or non-federal cash or in-kind contributions (including volunteer labor). Donated contractor services can be valued at current market rates, but general volunteer labor must be valued at no more than $22.14/hour. Matching funds do not need to be fully secured prior to submitting a grant proposal, but should have a demonstrable likelihood of being secured during the project period to assure the project can be completed as proposed.
  • NFWF does not fund political advocacy or litigation of any kind.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Grant applications are evaluated according to their ability to meet the evaluation criteria, the adequacy and clarity of application information, and at a minimum, each proposal must address the required information outlined in the 2013 Biological Opinion.

Applicants should review Appendix C of the 2013 Biological Opinion (pages 516-537) for greater detail on the Project Guidelines as this Request for Proposals is derived from those sources. Projects that are not described in Appendix C the 2013 Biological Opinion will not be considered for funding by the Proposal Review Committee.

Pre-proposals and Full Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a Proposal Review Committee made up of representatives from Reclamation, NMFS, CDFW, NFWF, and other experts as needed. Grant awards will be made by NFWF to successful applicants. Organizations are allowed to submit multiple proposals for funding consideration.

Projects will be evaluated on the basis of:

Benefit to Species. The proposal addresses a recovery or restoration need for coho salmon that has been identified in a Recovery Plan and will help remediate the effects of the Reclamation’s Klamath Project on coho salmon or their habitat. The proposal is compliant with the RFP and associated documentation (i.e. 2013 BiOp requirements).

Technical Merit. Objectives, approach, and scope of work are clear and technically sound; the project is both feasible and appropriate for the site and can be completed on schedule given reasonably foreseeable constraints (weather conditions, planting seasons, operational conditions). The write-up is sufficient for reviewers to fully understand and evaluate the technical merits of the project (project plans, designs with specific sites, activities identified).

Cost Effectiveness. The budget is detailed and the project is cost effective. Total cost is reasonable based on costs of similar project types and commensurate with projected benefits to coho salmon.

Community and Partner Involvement. There is demonstrated local area stakeholder support for the project (number, diversity of partners, matching funds, contact information/letters demonstrating involvement and/or support).

Organization Qualifications. The project manager, principal investigator(s), and other key personnel have experience and expertise required for the project, and individual roles and responsibilities are well defined and appropriate. The proposal demonstrates relevant field experience, completed projects, published reports, or other materials. When necessary, licensed professionals are identified for design, construction, or oversight of on-the-ground activities.

Consideration to Environmental Compliance Requirements. The proposal effectively captures the manner in which environmental compliance is planned to be completed. The budget includes a line item specific to environmental compliance costs that is reasonable and appropriate. When necessary, licensed professionals or other contractors are identified for the completion of components of the environmental compliance process (i.e. NEPA contractor or technical support staff, cultural resources consultant, etc.).

Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Detailed Budget Instructions cost categories. As this program is funded with federal funding, projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable (OMB Uniform Guidance).

The project budget needs to be as accurate as possible to the true scope of work. This will require getting accurate estimates of project costs. The budget should also reflect the true cost of implementing the proposed monitoring plan and environmental compliance costs. As part of the application, project costs will need to be broken down according to the following budget categories:

  • Personnel – Specific tasks and work to be performed by personnel are to be outlined. Total fees should be broken down according to the amount of time spent on the project (e.g., hourly, weekly, or monthly rates). Funding for salaries for federal government agency personnel is not allowed, but other costs such as seasonal assistants, travel etc., are eligible. Salaries for non-federal government personnel are allowed if they are directed specifically to the proposed project. Supporting documentation should be included (i.e. pay scale for organization).
  • Travel – Specify the purpose or destination for the travel item, unit type and the quantity of units requested. Do not lump trips together into one amount, rather, itemize by travel category listed.
  • Equipment – Equipment with a useful life of more than one year, a per-unit cost of $5,000 or more, and is necessary to complete the project must be identified. Capital equipment expenditures are highly discouraged and will be thoroughly reviewed including potential alternatives during the competitive review process – rental of such items should be considered instead. Any equipment less than $5,000 will be considered “supplies” and shall be identified in the “Materials and Supplies” category. Supporting documentation should be included (i.e. estimate, website, etc.)
  • Contractual Services – Contractual services are any agreement issued to a third party to assist with the completion of the project. All work to be completed by the contractor and their rates must be identified. Vendor selection shall be done through a competitive process.
  • Environmental Compliance – Estimate of the funding necessary to complete environmental compliance for the proposed project including obtaining or providing support to develop NEPA documents, perform cultural resource surveys, etc.
  • Other Direct Costs – Applicants must detail other specific costs associated with the project that do not appropriately fit within any other budget category, such as printing costs, as Direct Costs.
  • Indirect Costs – please refer to NFWF’s Indirect Cost Policy for details on the Allowability and application of indirect costs.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

The NFWF Subrecipient is required to comply with all applicable state, Federal, and local environmental, cultural, and paleontological resource protection laws and regulations. These may include, but are not limited to, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This includes adhering to the Council on Environmental Quality, Department of the Interior, and Reclamation policy and regulations for implementing these laws.

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 the necessary time and resources to perform the environmental compliance processes and approvals. Successful applicants must respond to the questions in the application focusing on the compliance requirements and 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.

Although the Bureau of Reclamation is the lead Federal agency for NEPA, NHPA, ESA and other environmental compliance, it is the sole responsibility of the NFWF Subrecipient to compile and draft all appropriate documentation to ensure environmental compliance as determined by the Bureau of Reclamation. As the lead agency, the Bureau of Reclamation, is solely responsible for determining the appropriate level of NEPA, NHPA, ESA, and other necessary environmental

compliance, which could be a categorical exclusions checklist, environmental assessment, environmental impact statement, biological assessment or evaluation, cultural resource surveys, reports, etc. Therefore, all supporting documentation and drafts produced by the NFWF Subrecipient must be reviewed, approved, and adopted by the Bureau of Reclamation for use. The NFWF Subrecipient shall coordinate with the Bureau of Reclamation and NFWF to ensure proper environmental compliance is completed.

OF THAT PORTION OF FEDERAL FUNDS IDENTIFIED IN THE NFWF SUBRECIPIENT’S APPROVED BUDGET, NFWF MAY RELEASE TO THE NFWF SUBRECIPIENT SUCH FUNDS TO PERFORM NECESSARY ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE ACTIVITIES FOR THE PERIOD NO EARLIER THAN THE DATE OF NFWF’S NOTICE OF AWARD TO THE NFWF SUBRECIPIENT.

HOWEVER, THE REMAINING FUNDS RELATED TO ON THE GROUND PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION WILL NOT BE RELEASED TO THE NFWF SUBRECIPIENT UNTIL ALL APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE IS COMPLETE AND APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AND THE PROJECT HAS RECEIVED A NOTICE TO PROCEED. THE NFWF SUBRECIPIENT MAY NOT UNDERTAKE ANY GROUND DISTURBING ACTIONS UNTIL NOTIFIED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION DIRECTLY, OR THROUGH NFWF, IN WRITING THAT THESE PROCESSES ARE COMPLETE.

Extensive coordination and collaboration amongst the Bureau of Reclamation, NFWF, and the NFWF Subrecipient will be necessary throughout the environmental compliance process. The NFWF Subrecipient shall provide to NFWF evidence that all applicable federal, state and local permits for work to be performed under this Agreement are obtained.

TIMELINE

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

​Applicant Open House ​November 5, 2015, 2:45-5:00 pm Pacific
​Pre-Proposal Due Date ​December 16, 2015, 5:00 pm Pacific
​Invitations for Full Proposals Sent ​February 3, 2016
​Full Proposal Due Date ​March 9, 2016, 5:00 pm Pacific
​Review Period ​March 10 - April 14, 2016
​Awards Announced ​May 31, 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. Please be sure to disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process.

2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select “Bureau of Reclamation Klamath River Coho Restoration Grant Program” 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.

**All pre-proposal applications must be received by December 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm Pacific time. Please note that extensions will not be granted. Applicants will be notified of the status of their pre-proposal by February 3, 2016. If invited to submit a full proposal, the due date will be March 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm Pacific time. Applicants will be notified of the status of their full proposal by May 31, 2016. NFWF reserves the right to award or not award a grant to any applicant, and NFWF may withdraw this Request for Proposals at any time without notice. Once submitted, application materials become the sole property of Reclamation and NFWF and will not be returned. During the proposal review process, applicants may be requested to revise their proposal at the request of the review committee. Applicants who do not complete these requested revisions may be removed from further consideration for funding.

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:

Andrew Purkey
Director, Western Water Program
Andrew.Purkey@nfwf.org
503-417-8700, Ext. 6009

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.