Request for Quotation: Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network Enhancements for Southwest Louisiana

Requesting Organization:
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005

Contact Information:
Margette Bourne, Manager, Federal Relations
Margette.Bourne@nfwf.org
(443) 280-1899

Application Deadline: Thursday, December 11, 2020 11:59 PM Eastern Time


OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), seeks a qualified Contractor to establish sea turtle stranding response personnel in Southwest (SW) Louisiana to assist us with the implementation of the Louisiana Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) Enhancements for the Deepwater Horizon Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group (RW TIG) Project.  The Deepwater Horizon Sea Turtle Early Restoration project is designed to restore sea turtle populations impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The project addresses threats to sea turtles on land and in the marine environment and is focused on Kemp’s ridley, green, and loggerhead sea turtles. The funding for this contract will provide personnel, equipment, supplies, and technical expertise to enhance the ability of the STSSN to conduct sea turtle stranding surveys and respond to live and dead stranded sea turtles in SW Louisiana. 

The successful Contractor will be selected through a competitive process that assesses the Contractor’s plan for achieving stated work items, technical qualifications, and cost considerations. The award level will be based on the Foundation’s evaluation of the proposal and budget documentation and contingent upon
available funding.

The Contract Period of Performance is estimated to be nine (9) months (including final reporting).
 

BACKGROUND

Since 2007, NFWF has partnered with NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) to implement restoration activities related to injuries from oil spills, vessel groundings, and hazardous waste releases. These activities achieve our mutual mission to further the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.

The comprehensive Deepwater Horizon Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project, as outlined in the Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments, contains four complementary components. NOAA is the lead implementation Trustee on the “Enhancement of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) and Development of an Emergency Response Program” and the “Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Trawl Bycatch Reduction” components. NOAA is partnering with NFWF to complete activities associated with enhancing the STSSN across the Gulf of Mexico.

SW Louisiana beaches are remote and previous stranding surveys indicate sea turtle strandings are common along this stretch of coast. NOAA has enhanced the STSSN in this area by conducting periodic stranding surveys and encouraging residents to report strandings to the Louisiana STSSN hotline through outreach and education. However, due to the remote nature of this stretch of coast, additional and dedicated effort is needed to conduct frequent sea turtle stranding surveys along approximately 30-40 miles of shoreline from the TX/LA border to Rutherford Beach (see Figure 1) during the peak stranding season (February 15 through June 15). As part of these surveys, strandings need to be documented and carcasses (that meet certain criteria) collected and frozen for NOAA’s mortality investigations.  While permits are not required for driving on the beaches in SW Louisiana and the majority of beaches have unrestricted access, USFWS and LDWF permits are required for handling stranded sea turtles in LA. The LA STSSN State Coordinator, Lyndsey Howell (NOAA), will assist with permitting requirements for stranding responders and will provide the required STSSN training prior to the start of surveys.

A map of the beach coastline


Project goals to be addressed through this contract include: 

  • conduct sea turtle stranding surveys in SW Louisiana
  • transport live stranded sea turtles to a USFWS-approved sea turtle rehabilitation facility (i.e., Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, or one of the facilities in Galveston, TX) or a designated meeting place
  • purchase/lease a chest freezer to store sea turtle carcasses for the duration of the project
  • transport sea turtle carcasses to Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans or a designated meeting place
     

SCOPE OF WORK

Tasks: The Contractor will station two stranding response personnel in the SW Louisiana area (e.g. communities such as Lake Charles, LA; Port Arthur, TX; Holly Beach, LA) from February 15 through May 31 to provide timely response to sea turtle strandings per STSSN protocols. The Contractor will conduct daily sea turtle stranding surveys along approximately 30 miles of shoreline from the TX/LA state line to Rutherford Beach maintaining a minimum of two person teams due to the remote location and risks associated with beach driving. This area was heavily impacted by hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020.  Access to some areas may be limited or unsafe due to storm damage.  Survey locations and survey frequency will be reviewed and prioritized in coordination with NOAA.

Deliverables: The Contractor will: (1) conduct daily stranding surveys, weather permitting, (2) coordinate stranding response with the STSSN State Coordinator, (3) photograph and measure stranded turtles, (4) complete STSSN forms, (5) collect carcasses according to protocols and guidelines for salvaging carcasses for necropsy, (6) bury or dispose of carcasses not suitable for necropsy, (7) report basic stranding data and photos to the STSSN State Coordinator within 48 hours, and (8) submit completed stranding forms to the STSSN State Coordinator within 7 days.  The expected number of survey days from March 1 through May 31 is 92 days, barring unforeseen circumstances
 
Schedule: The overall timeline for this contract includes—

  • January 2021 – Contract begins

  • February 15, 2021 – May 31, 2021 – Contractor conducts peak season activities

  • August 31, 2021 – Final Report due to NFWF

  
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS 

The Contractor must have a vehicle capable of beach driving and transporting carcasses (4WD truck, ATV, or UTV) and experience conducting beach driving surveys for wildlife (e.g., driving an ATV, UTV, or 4WD truck to survey for sea turtles, birds, or other wildlife). Experience in documenting and responding to reports of stranded sea turtles is desired and all candidates must complete the required STSSN training before handling stranded sea turtles. The individuals must be able to work in remote locations, be comfortable working with dead animals and be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Familiarity with the local area and sea turtle biology is also desirable but not required.
 

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS 

Proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria.  Offerors should organize their Proposal Narrative based on these sections:

  1. Understanding of the Scope of Work. The Scope of Work must demonstrate an understanding of the goals of the activities involved. This section should include a description of how you will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables.
     
  2. Technical Approach.  The proposed technical approach for conducting stranding surveys and stranding response and reporting should clearly describe the proposed methods necessary to conduct the project. The section must demonstrate that those methods are robust and appropriate for conducting the project and address any areas of complexity or uncertainty associated with conducting the project.
     
  3. Qualifications of Proposed Personnel.  This section should clearly describe which tasks each member of the team will conduct and how their training and experience provide the requisite experience to do so successfully.
     
  4. Contractor’s Past Performance.  The proposal should include information on the primary investigator(s)’s past performance experience in conducting beach surveys and stranding response.  List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered. If subcontractors are to be used, information should be provided that demonstrates their past performance as well.  Describe how that past performance is applicable to this evaluation.
     
  5. Budget. The proposed budget should itemize work in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use attached Contractor Budget Template. You may add columns to the template for additional tasks if needed, but should not make any other changes. If applicable, please include the proposed budget for equipment purchase in the proposal separate from the Contractor Budget Template. 


ELIGIBLE OFFERORS & CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments.

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described herein.  In the event an offeror currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the offeror must notify NFWF in writing in the Statement of Quotations, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the Statement of Quotations) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest.  Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the contractor, the contractor’s employees, or the contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise.  Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’s future subcontractors in the matter.  Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the offeror to reduce or resolve the conflict.  Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award.  

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the Offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or 

Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions instructions can be found here: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/
 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS         

Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinctly labeled and separate documents: 1) Technical Proposal, 2) Budget, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability.  Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Margette Bourne, Margette.Bourne@nfwf.org)  using the requirements below:

  1. Technical Proposal
  • Format: Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
  • Contact information: Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, DUNS number, and EIN/Taxpayer ID#.
  • Narrative: Concise (10-page limit) description of the work plan and a summary of the applicant’s expertise and experience, organized by the Criteria for Competitive Applications. 
  • Biographies: Resumes and/or Vitae of key staff and their role in the proposed work area.
  • References: List two clients who have received services from the applicant that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, phone numbers, and email address. 
  1. Budget: The budget proposal must be submitted using the attached NFWF budget template.
     
  2. Evidence of Financial Stability: The applicant shall provide proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements, credit ratings, a line of credit, or other financial arrangements sufficient to demonstrate the applicant’s capability to meet the requirements of this solicitation.
     

SELECTION PROCEDURE      

A panel of NFWF and NOAA staff will review the proposals. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award.  Only one award will be made for this project.  If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through subcontracts.
 

SUBMISSION DEADLINES     

December 2, 2020 Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF. 
Offerors should submit questions regarding this solicitation via email to Margette Bourne (Margette.bourne@nfwf.org). NFWF will post all the questions and responses to all questions so that all offerors have access to them at the same time. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be sent to NFWF no later than December 2, 2020 5:00 PM Eastern Time
December 5, 2020 NFWF will post the questions submitted regarding the solicitation and responses on the NFWF website at provide website.
December 11, 2020 Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals. 
Proposals must be sent electronically as an email attachment to Margette Bourne by 11:59 PM Eastern Time December 11, 2020
Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF.
February 5, 2021 Contract award to selected Offeror 
August 31, 2021 Deliverables Due