Russian River Coho 2017 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to contribute to the recovery of a viable, self-sustaining population of coho salmon to the Russian River watershed by (1) restoring a more natural seasonal flow regime in five priority Russian River subwatersheds, (2) increasing the viability of juvenile coho and numbers of returning adult coho, and (3) increasing water supply reliability for water users. The Russian River Coho Program will award $500,000 in grants to support program implementation. Major funding for the program is provided by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.


To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within the five focal subwatersheds of the Russian River, as indicated in the business plan. These include (1) Grape Creek, (2) Mill Creek, (3) Mark West Creek, (4) Dutch Bill Creek, and (5) Green Valley Creek.



Proposals must specifically implement the key strategies of the Russian River Coho Program business plan. These include:

Water management
Develop, design, and implement water storage and forbearance projects that provide a means to maintain agricultural water uses while improving instream conditions for coho salmon through summer.

Streamflow monitoring and watershed management
Streamflow monitoring projects that identify diversions having significant impacts on flow in key reaches.

Outreach and recruitment activities that combine broad, watershed-scale outreach with targeted contacts to recruit individual landowners in areas where monitoring data indicate the potential for streamflow improvement.

Streamflow Improvement Plans
Develop Streamflow Improvement Plans (SIPs) that synthesize and integrate land and water use data, water rights details, streamflow and habitat monitoring, and flow-habitat relationships to develop a prioritization of strategies and projects based on projected instream flow needs.

Coho Population Monitoring and Evaluation
Evaluate the effects of water management activities on coho salmon by monitoring juvenile coho survival in treatment reaches (flow impaired, targeted for improvement) and reference reaches (less flow impaired, not targeted for improvement) before and after changes in water management.


To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Russian River Coho program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for grantees 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 shown in the table below). If you do not believe an applicable metric has been provided, please contact David Lawrence to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity ​Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # of conservation demonstration sites ​Enter number of conservation demonstration sites established
​Habitat Management ​Improved irrigation practices - CFS of water conserved annually ​Enter the cubic feet per second of water conserved annually
​Habitat Restoration ​Restoring hydrology - Miles with restored hydrology ​Enter the number of miles with restored hydrology
​Habitat Restoration ​Restoring hydrology - # sites with restored hydrology ​Enter the number of sites with restored hydrology
​Planning, Research, Monitoring ​Tool development for decision-making - # tools used by decision-makers ​Enter the number of tools developed that are used by decision-makers
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # of edu signs installed ​Enter the number of educational signs installed by project
​Planning, Research, Monitoring ​Central California Coho - Russian River - Management or Governance Planning - # plans developed ​Enter the number of plans developed that had input from multiple stakeholders
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # websites, social media tools ​Enter the number of websites and other social media tools used to disseminate information about the project
​Planning, Research, Monitoring ​Research - # studies used to inform mgmt ​Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform mgmt decisions
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people with knowledge ​Enter the number of people demonstrating a minimum level of knowledge, attitudes, or skills
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people with changed behavior ​Enter the number of individuals demonstrating a minimum threshold of behavior change
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # workshops, webinars, meetings ​Enter the number of workshops, webinars, and meetings held to address project activity
​Capacity, Outreach, Incentives ​Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance - # people reached ​Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities
​Planning, Research, Monitoring ​Central California Coho - Russian River - Monitoring - # monitoring programs ​Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway


  • Eligible Entities
    • Eligible applicants include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.
  • 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.
    • Funds from this program cannot support fee title land acquisition projects. However, funds may cover certain transaction costs associated with an acquisition (appraisals, title searches, surveys). Also, funds can be used to put in place conservation easements.


Up to $500,000 in grant funds are available in FY2017. Applicants should provide non-federal match of at least $1 for every $1 of NFWF grant funds requested. Eligible non-federal matching sources can include cash, in-kind donations, and/or volunteer labor that is directly related to the project proposed for funding.


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 outlined in the Request for Proposal and the Russian River Coho business plan.

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.

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.

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 subawards to third party subrecipients 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.)

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.

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.


General – Applicants will be required to indicate the status of all permits required to comply with federal, state or local requirements.

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.

Environmental Compliance Requirements – Projects selected to receive Federal funding may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act. As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with such Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.

Federal Funding Requirements – Projects selected to receive Federal funding may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, 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. Federally-funded projects must operate in compliance with the OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable to the applicant.

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


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

​Full Proposal Due Date ​Thursday, December 1, 2016 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
​Awards Announced ​March 2017


All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to 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.


A PDF version of this RFP can be downloaded here.

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s “Applicant Information” page.

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

Easygrants Helpdesk
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.

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

Application process and online application assistance:

Emily Graham
Coordinator, Program Administration
Phone: 202-857-0166

Programmatic priorities and project-related questions:

David Lawrence
Director, Aquatic Conservation
Phone: 202-595-2451


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