Seabird Conservation Program 2017 Request for Proposals

Pre-Proposal Due Date:   June 1, 2017 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
Full Proposal Due Date:   August 10, 2017 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

Seabirds represent a diverse group of birds whose life history cycles are intricately linked to marine and coastal resources. Seabirds forage at sea, often far from breeding colonies; disperse over vast distances; and are both colonial and solitary breeders. The overlap of seabirds and humans on oceanic islands and in the marine environment has driven many species to the brink of extinction. Consequently, a major challenge to effective seabird conservation is to mitigate human-induced threats at multiple temporal and spatial scales; in other words, to protect and restore habitats utilized by seabirds throughout the entire life cycle (on both land and at sea). The Seabird Conservation Program is supported by the Pacific Seabird Program business plan and Caribbean Seabird Program business plan. In 2016, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) board of directors approved a 6-year continuation of the Pacific Seabird Program. Available funding for the Seabird Conservation Program will vary from year to year depending on implementation needs of the business plans. This Request for Proposals (RFP) will award approximately $2,500,000 in funding in support of Pacific seabird conservation efforts only.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

This program will focus on the Caribbean Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, including the following priority regions in the Pacific: Alaska, Chile, California current (including Mexico), Hawaii and U.S. overseas lands and territories in the Pacific.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the Seabird Conservation Program goals. In 2017, the Seabird Conservation Program will not be accepting applications for work in the Caribbean focus area; we are seeking projects in the following Pacific program priority areas:

  1. Invasive animal management:  Introduced animals alter fragile island ecosystems through direct predation on seabirds and by destruction of breeding habitats.  NFWF will support projects that remove invasive animals from smaller islands (including the planning and implementation phases of project development) and proposals that install fencing to protect breeding seabirds and habitats on larger islands. Focal regions for this RFP include Chile, the California Current and Hawaii.
  2. Restoration: Invasive plants degrade nesting habitat, sea level rise threatens low lying colonies and human actions can impact survival and reproduction of seabirds.  NFWF will support proposals that enhance degraded habitat, support translocation and social attraction efforts to increase population resilience, and ensure sustainability of investments through support of biosecurity planning and by investing in community engagement and outreach. Focal regions for this RFP include Chile, the California Current and Hawaii.
  3. Bycatch reduction: Seabird by-catch by fisheries is a global problem, killing hundreds of thousands of seabirds annually.  NFWF will support proposals that foster innovation, outreach, training and research for the development and adoption of best practices and effective mitigation measures in fisheries that inadvertently kill seabirds with an emphasis on Pacific fisheries that impact Albatross and Pink-footed Shearwater.
  4. Protect seabird prey base: Seabirds are dependent on abundant and available high quality prey.  Loss of prey can have catastrophic effects on breeding success and survival.  NFWF will support development of science that seeks to integrate seabirds, as predators, into multi-species fisheries management planning with a focus on the California current and Gulf of Alaska.
  5. Research and Monitoring:  The wide-ranging, pelagic nature of seabirds is a challenge to understanding and addressing conservation needs. NFWF will invest in research, monitoring and assessment actions to improve the effectiveness of species conservation, strategies and the delivery and reporting of conservation actions over the life of this business plan. In this RFP,we specifically seek proposals that enhance knowledge and monitoring for Aleutian Tern and projects that implement actions identified in the Ashy Storm-petrel conservation action plan.

There are no restrictions on program applicants beyond meeting the minimum 1:1 match expectation (federal and non-federal match are eligible).

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Seabird Conservation Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for full proposal applicants to choose from for future reporting. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics from this list for their project (all possible program metrics are not shown in the table below, the table summarizes the most appropriate metrics for desired activities).  If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact Scott Hall (scott.hall@NFWF.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

 
Project Activity​ ​Recommended Metric ​Additional Guidance
​Species Outcome ​# breeding pairs ​ Enter the number of breeding pairs (For each seabird species with a breeding population estimate, please enter the number of breeding pairs)
​Habitat Restoration ​Acres restored ​Enter the number of acres restored (Use this metric to enter the number of acres planned for restoration during the project period).
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​# people with knowledge ​Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of knowledge, attitudes, or skills
​Species-specific Strategies ​# of biosecurity plans ​Enter the number of biosecurity plans developed
​Species-specific Strategies ​# sites with goals met ​Enter the number of sites with predation reduction goals met (Use this metric to enter the number of sites protected from non-native invasive animals through removal (invasive populations eradicated) or fencing)
​Species-specific Strategies ​Acres with goals met ​Enter the number of acres with predation reduction goals met (Use this metric to enter the number of acres protected from non-native invasive animals through removal or fencing)
​Species-specific Strategies ​Improved seabird bycatch ​Enter the number of target fisheries with improved seabird bycatch knowledge and/or protection
​Species-specific Strategies ​#translocated/stocked ​Enter the number of individuals translocated or stocked (Use this metric to enter the number of individuals of each species translocated)
​Planning, Research, Monitoring ​# monitoring programs ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway
​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway ​# research studies completed  ​Enter the number of research studies completed (Please provide notes for each research study completed including the study's relevance for management and conservation planning)

 

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible Entities
  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, businesses, international organizations.

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 Seabird Conservation Program has approximately $2,500,000 to award in funding for grants this year. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $50,000 to $500,000 range. However upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. A minimum of a 1:1 match (federal and non-federal match are eligible) of cash and/or in-kind services is required. Projects may extend from one to three years.

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.
  
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 RFP.
 
Technical Merit – The 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.
 
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. Identify proposed partners, if known (including potential or contemplated sub-awards to third party sub-recipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships.  (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state, and federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in the completion of the project.)
 
Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy.
 
Monitoring – The 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 – The 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.

OTHER 

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).
 
Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not necessarily constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively.  When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations. 
 
Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications.  Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.
 
Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable.  Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF.  A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.
 
Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act.  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 time and resources to obtain the needed approvals.  As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.
 
Quality Assurance – If a project involves significant monitoring, data collection or data use, grantees will be asked to prepare and submit quality assurance documentation (www.epa.gov/quality).  Applicants should budget time and resources to complete this task.
 
Permits – Successful applicants will be required to 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.  Where projects involve work in the waters of the United States, NFWF strongly encourages applicants to conduct a permit pre-application meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers prior to submitting their proposal.  In some cases, if a permit pre-application meeting has not been completed, NFWF may require successful applicants to complete such a meeting prior to grant award.
 
Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF. Projects seeking USFS funding should be located on the relevant federal lands, be adjacent but with clear benefit to the federal land, or support the broad mission of the agency.

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change.  Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (Seabirds Program).
 
Pre-Proposal Due Date  June 1, 2017 by 11:59pm EDT
Invitations for Full Proposals Sent​ June 23, 2017
Full Proposal Due Date​ August 10, 2017
Review Period ​ August/September 2017
Awards Announced​ November 2017

HOW TO APPLY

All application materials must be submitted online through NFWF'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 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 Applicant Information page.
 
For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact:
Scott Hall (scott.hall@nfwf.org)
 
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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