Atlantic Flyway Shorebirds 2019 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date:   January 14, 2019 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time

OVERVIEW

Migratory birds link habitats, people and cultures, offering an extraordinary opportunity to connect people across a hemisphere. As one group of migratory birds, shorebirds use habitats across a vast geography each year, undertaking some of the longest migrations of any animals on earth. The great distances travelled every year, collectively called “flyways”, also subject shorebirds to numerous threats including habitat loss, human dist​​​urbance, predation, harvest activities and in select geographies, conflicting resource management. In addition, shorebird populations are relatively small and hence vulnerable to both anthropogenic and environmental impacts. As a consequence, shorebirds are one of the North American bird guilds undergoing the steepest population declines. Since 2008, NFWF and partners developed and implemented a single shorebird species initiative that not only reversed the decline of American oystercatcher but also laid the ground work for a more ambitious multispecies effort that has culminated in the current business plan. The goal of this plan is to safeguard the shorebird migration phenomena by improving the habitat functionality and condition at critical sites upon which shorebird species depend at various stages of their full annual lifecycle. The program is focused on strategic investments to secure populations of three species – American oystercatcher (short distant migrant), whimbrel (mid-distance migrant) and threatened red knot (long distant migrant). Conservation actions to address threats to each of the focal species is expected to provide ancillary impacts to dozens of other shorebird species. This request for proposals will award up to $625,000 in federal and private sector funding in support of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird conservation efforts.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

This program focuses on priority shorebird sites along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard (including the Florida gulf coast and panhandle) as well as priority wintering sites for each of the focal species in the Caribbean and South America. Additionally, NFWF seeks to partner with organizations with similar interest and capacity to establish a full lifecycle monitoring initiative for red knot and whimbrel.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

All proposals must specifically address how projects will directly and measurably contribute to the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program goals. In 2019, the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program seeks projects in the following program priority areas: 

  1. Conserve habitat: NFWF seeks to support the designation and/or development of management plans associated with WHSRN sites that support important populations of red knot, whimbrel, American oystercatchers (and other shorebird species) within priority geographies along the eastern seaboard of the United States. NFWF will also consider support for Tier 1* sites in Latin America and the Caribbean. [Business Plan - refer to page 12, Strategy 1, (a)-(b)].
  2. Restore habitat: NFWF seeks to support the restoration of shorebird habitat within the 10 focal areas outlined in the business plan. Specifically, we will support projects that build upon previous efforts to engage key stakeholders at the local and regional levels to identify opportunities to restore breeding and staging habitat for one or more of the three focal species. While it is unlikely that the resources are adequate for large scale restoration needs at this time, NFWF is interested in both identifying and prioritizing a suite of sites within each of the focal areas as well as quantifying the restoration work required to improve habitat at these sites. [Business Plan – refer to page 12, Strategy 2, (a) and (b)]. 
  3. Improve habitat management:  NFWF seeks to support conservation efforts to improve habitat management at Tier 1 breeding, staging and wintering sites sites for American oystercatcher along the eastern seaboard. This support will focus on implementing best management practices developed by the AFSI working group to reduce human disturbance by targeting key threats and working with local community groups or networks of local organizations to implement. [Business Plan – refer to Strategy 3, 3.1 (a)].
  4. Harvest pressure: NFWF seeks to support efforts to assess the impact of harvest threats along the Guianese and northern Brazilian coasts and identify and implement specific actions to mitigate this persistent threat to red knot, whimbrel and other flyway shorebirds. NFWF will also consider support to alternative strategies for managing shooting swamps in the Caribbean islands of Guaelouple, Martinqiue, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados. [Business Plan, Strategy 4].
  5. Monitoring and assessing progress:  NFWF seeks to develop and support the implementation of a Flyway Health Index. The goal of the Index is to annually measure the status of focal species, their habitat, and progress towards addressing key threats and information gaps identified in the business plan. In support of developing the Index, NFWF will consider projects that (a) complete assessments of Tier 1 sites supporting red knot and whimbrel (for sites that have not been previously assessed), (b) install MOTUS technology at important Tier 1 wintering sites for red knot in Argentina, southern Brazil and Chile, and Whimbrel along the northern Brazilian and Caribbean coasts, (c) assess the importance of vital stopover sites used to influence productivity and survivorship of red knot, and (d) examine the effectiveness of actions taken to address hunting and where necessary, support adaptive management decisions. [Business plan, Strategy 5, a, c, d, f, g].

* Tier 1 sites are listed in the Business Plan Annex.

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

PROJECT METRICS

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for applicants to choose from for 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 believe an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact Ian Davidson (ian.davidson@NFWF.org) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

​Project Activity ​Recommended Metric ​Additional Guidance
​Conserve Habitat​ ​Designated WHSRN sites - # designated sites ​Enter the number of Tier 1 sites designated by land management authorities (e.g. NWRs, state refuges, private owners, other).
​Conserve Habitat​
​Areas under new management - # acres included in new mgt plans
 
​Enter the number of acres affected by newly implemented mgt plans with shorebird considerations.
​Habitat Restoration ​Land, wetland restoration – # miles or acres equivalent of restored and undisturbed beach ​Enter the # miles of beach restored [notes helpful, especially with respect to reporting acres restored to date, new acres (if available) restored during period of performance, # plants installed)].
​Improved Habitat Management ​Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation - # sites ​Enter the number of sites where BMPs have been successfully implemented for one or more focal species (i.e. contributed to focal species productivity, provide refuge for staging)​.
​Improved Habitat Management
​Improved management practices - # acres under improved management
 
​Enter the number of acres under improved management (i.e. total acres affected by the successful implementation of BMPs).
​Harvest Pressure ​Harvest evaluation - # studies used to inform mgt
​Enter the number of studies (evaluations/ assessments) completed.

​Harvest Pressure
​Harvest guidelines - # guidelines developed and implemented

​Enter the number of hunting guidelines developed and implemented in each of the focal countries.
​Species Outcomes ​Population - # of individuals censused
​Enter the number of individuals censused during the wintering period (red knot).

​Species Outcomes ​Reproductive success - # chicks fledged per breeding pairs ​Enter the number of breeding pairs of American oystercatcher affected by threat reduction strategies (e.g. human disturbance, restoration). 
​Planning, Research and Monitoring ​Research - # studies used to inform management ​The number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform management decisions (list research studies by species, provide notes on the context of the work towards project or species goals).
​Planning, Research and Monitoring ​Monitoring initiatives - # monitoring programs established or underway ​Enter the number of monitoring projects developed or underway; enter number of Flyway Health Indices developed (should only be one).
​Planning, Research and Monitoring​ ​Tracking technology – # of tools developed ​Enter the number of MOTUS towers operational as a result of the project (include in narrative, number of nanotags deployed through the project); also include narrative on number of other tracking devices deployed through the project (e.g. satellite tracking devices).
​Capacity and Outreach ​Individuals engaged in threat reduction activities - # of individuals ​Capacity and outreach metrics are not tracked for this program, however metrics reporting the # of volunteers participating in conservation activities and the number of Part Time Employee and Full Time Employee participating in conservation projects are encouraged. In addition, metrics reporting increased knowledge and/or behavioral changes.
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.

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 Atlantic Flyway Shorebird program has approximately $625,000 to award in funding for grants this year. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the $50,000 to $250,000 range. However upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. A minimum of a 1:1 non-Federal match of cash and/or in-kind services is required and will be considered in application review. 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 – 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.

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.

Transferability – Project has potential and plan to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.

Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.

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

Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy. 

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 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.

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.)

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 will be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved by NFWF’s Atlantic Flyway Shorebirds 2019 RFP programmatic funders: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s) on federal or non-federal lands.  As necessary, 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.

TIMELINE

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

​​Full Proposal Due Date
​January 14, 2019 by 11:59pm EDT
​Review Period
​January 2019
​Awards Announced
March 2019

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.
  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: 

Ian Davidson (ian.davidson@nfwf.org) or 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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