Request for Proposals: Contract to Provide Engineering Support Services for the National Coastal Resilience Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified Contractor to provide engineering technical support for NFWF’s ongoing evaluation of large-scale coastal restoration and other nature-based coastal resilience projects funded through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF).
This Request for Proposals (RFP) will be used to help NFWF identify qualified consultants that NFWF might engage to provide assistance for the successful evaluation of projects, programs, and activities necessary to implement the NCRF. Among other areas, NFWF requires assistance evaluating the feasibility, regulatory compliance, schedule, costs, and outcomes of proposed projects seeking funding from the NCRF to construct habitat restoration and/or nature-based projects designed to enhance community resilience to coastal hazards and to improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Field work to verify existing conditions and monitor project implementation might also be required. NFWF expects that it will access the type of support contemplated by this RFP through a time and materials contract that will be administered on a “task order” basis.
The National Coastal Resilience Fund is a program that NFWF administers in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The purpose of the program is to invest in nature-based solutions with the dual goals of increasing the resilience of communities from current and future threats from coastal hazards and improving habitats for fish and wildlife. NFWF administers the NCRF as a national grants program focused on funding projects within the coastal areas of U.S. coastal states, including the Great Lakes states, and U.S. territories and tribal lands. Through the NCRF, NFWF invests in projects advancing nature-based solutions – such as restoring coastal marshes and forests, reconnecting floodplains, rebuilding dunes or other natural buffers, or installing living shorelines. NCRF projects must show clear benefits in terms of reducing current and projected threats to communities from coastal hazards (including sea-level and lake-level changes, flooding, erosion, increased frequency and/or intensity of storms, and impacts from other chronic and episodic factors such as nuisance flooding during high tides, permafrost melt, etc.) and improvements to habitats for fish and wildlife species. NFWF is also interested in identifying projects that use innovative approaches for addressing coastal hazards and are designed to be sustainable and durable in the face of projected environmental conditions. NFWF funds projects in four categories designed to advance projects through a “project pipeline,” including: Community Capacity Building and Planning; Site Assessment and Preliminary Design, Final Design and Permitting, and Restoration Implementation. For more information about the Program, please visit our website at: https://www.nfwf.org/programs/national-coastal-resilience-fund
The primary purpose of this RFP is to identify potential contractors with the expertise and experience to assist NFWF in its role as administrator of the NCRF. This role includes the review of project proposals submitted by NCRF applicants with respect to the technical, logistical, and financial merits of the project and expected project outcomes and other results, as appropriate.
SCOPE OF WORK
To assist NFWF in its work through the NCRF, this RFP seeks qualifications from entities who may serve as independent contractors with engineering experience and expertise in the following areas:
- Task 1: Proposal Review and Evaluation -- Assist with review and evaluation of project proposals seeking NFWF funding for coastal habitat creation and/or restoration (such as wetland restoration, dam or culvert removal, large-scale deployment of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flooding, barrier island or offshore reef restoration or construction, living shorelines, etc.) for the purposes of enhancing community resilience to coastal hazards and enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife. This task will require reviewing project proposals, engineering and design documents, permits and/or contracts for construction and providing an evaluation for NFWF. Evaluations should be brief, no more than one page, but should help NFWF verify the reasonableness of budgets and timelines, contracting requirements, and evaluate the technical engineering and ecological merits of the proposals. We estimate Task 1 will require review of approximately 10-15 proposals seeking awards in the range of $5-10 million per project. Proposal narratives are 8 pages and supporting documentation for Restoration-Implementation projects (e.g., engineering and design documents, budgets, permits, etc.) typically range from 50-150 pages. Where appropriate, NFWF may seek contractor assistance conducting site visits.
Task 2: Other Engineering and Design Technical Support -- On an as needed basis, NFWF may seek assistance with other engineering and design technical support needs associated with administering the NCRF, including but not limited to review and evaluation of updated engineering and design documentation, permits, and grantee financial and programmatic reporting and other submissions. Estimated scope of work for this task is 40 hours of senior engineer time to support NFWF, as needed.
- Semiannual written and ongoing verbal progress reports
- Written reviews of grant proposals and supporting documentation
- Other deliverables as called for by the proposed Scope or Work and contractor’s proposed technical approach
These deliverables may be expanded or refined during the contract negotiation.
NFWF will contact selected contractor(s) with proposed terms of engagement. Neither the issuance of this RFP, by itself, nor the contacting by NFWF of any respondent hereto shall be deemed to obligate NFWF to issue a task order or enter into a contract for any purposes. Nothing in this RFP constitutes an agreement, contract, award, placement of task order, or other express or implied relationship between NFWF and any party. No respondent to this RFP shall become a contractor to NFWF unless and until a contract satisfactory in form and substance to NFWF is negotiated and executed by NFWF and the selected respondent for the applicable services and corresponding task order.
Respondents are advised that any entity ultimately entering a contract with NFWF further to this RFP might be precluded from receiving NCRF awards under other solicitations pertaining to implementation of the NCRF. In addition, respondents are advised that any entity ultimately entering a contract with NFWF further to this RFP will be required to disclose potential conflicts of interest prior to executing individual task orders (see the section below with NFWF’s Conflict of Interest Statement).
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. E-mail a Word version of your submission to NFWF (Anna Beatrice, Anna.Beatrice@nfwf.org) no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on June 10, 2022. In the subject line, please indicate Response to RFP for Engineering Support for the NCRF – [name of respondent].
Submissions must meet the requirements below:
- Technical Proposal (20 pages total):
- 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, Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and EIN/Taxpayer ID#.
- Narrative & Resumes: Include a technical proposal addressing each line item in the “Submission Outline” section below. Attach CVs or Resumes of key staff; please limit attached resumes to no more than ten (10) one-page resumes, each a single-sided page. Licenses and other certifications should be noted as part of your submission, but copies are not required at this time. Please limit supplementary materials to only those requested below. (NFWF may contact respondents as necessary for any additional information.)
- 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 the linked Contractor Budget Template. You may add columns to the template for additional tasks if needed but should not make any other changes. Please include the proposed budget for equipment purchase in the proposal separate from the Contractor Budget Template.
- 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
Technical Proposal. The description of your organization’s qualifications should include the following elements:
- Contact information. Please provide a Primary Contact Person, Entity Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Website, and EIN.
- Organizational mission and profile. Please describe your organization’s mission, expertise and experience. Please include geographic service area, number of clients, how long you have been in business, and your annual revenue. If your application includes team members or sub-consultants, please provide the requested profile information for all team members, and indicate the lead entity responsible for contract management and quality of deliverables.
- Expertise. Please list the type(s) of work your organization and/or your team provides relating to the specified qualifications and explain what makes you particularly successful in this/these area(s). Describe your expertise in meeting the needs of clients similar to NFWF and/or programs similar to the NCRF. Please also describe areas where your team’s expertise is strongest both in terms of regions, habitat type, and restoration approaches as appropriate. You are not expected to be able to provide assistance in all topic areas listed above or coastal regions served by the NCRF.
- References and Past Experience. Please describe two to three past engagements conducting similar work for NFWF or other organizations, including the specific tasks and deliverables completed and how those engagements will prepare your team to ensure delivery of quality work, on time and on budget, if awarded this contract. Include contact information (names, emails addresses, and telephone numbers) for three client references relevant to the services described.
- Team Management and Quality Assurance/ Quality Control. Describe how the lead entity will manage the team (if applicable). Please describe quality assurance and control procedures that will be used to ensure your team’s work meets professional standards and how invoicing will be performed to ensure contract compliance.
- Resumes and Key Staff. Please provide names and brief biographies of key staff. You may attach resumes of key staff as appropriate. Please limit attached resumes to no more than 10 one-page resumes, each a single-sided page. Licenses and certifications should be noted as part of your submission, but copies are not required at this time.
CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS
Failure to include all materials outlined above may cause a submission to be deemed non-responsive. NFWF may conduct interviews as part of the selection process and will give competitive offerors at least one week’s notice if interviews are deemed necessary to make an offer. NFWF will give priority consideration to respondents that demonstrate the following in a fully responsive submission:
- Technical Expertise and Approach. Proposals must demonstrate considerable experience working in a variety of coastal environmental settings and with specific expertise designing, constructing, and/or evaluating nature-based solutions for mitigating coastal hazards and improving habitat for fish and wildlife. Offeror should demonstrate an understanding of the goals and activities involved, including NCRF grant investments and overall program strategy. The proposals should describe the Offeror’s approach for communicating with NFWF and program stakeholders and successfully implementing the Scope of Work described in the RFP. Weight: 30%
- Qualifications of Proposed Personnel. The proposal should clearly describe which tasks each member of the team will conduct and how their training and experience provides the requisite experience to do so successfully. Providers must demonstrate they have sufficient staff and other resources, a degree of flexibility in how and where services are delivered, and an ability to tailor content and delivery methods to meet the specific needs of NFWF and the NCRF. Weight: 30%
- Contractor’s Past Performance. Preference will be given to submitters demonstrating significant expertise and experience, as exhibited by multiple directly relevant projects over time in those areas described in the RFP. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered. Weight: 20%
- Budget. Preference will be given to providers who can provide high quality services at an affordable cost. Weight: 20%
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS RFP
Please send questions and inquiries regarding this RFP to Anna.Beatrice@nfwf.org by May 11, 2022. Responses to all questions will be posted on the NFWF website by close of business on May 17, 2022. Questions will not be accepted, nor answers provided, by any other means of communication.
A panel of NFWF staff will review the full proposals. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award. Multiple contracts may be made for this project. If multiple institutions are involved in one application, they should be handled through sub-awards and subcontracts.
|April 27, 2022||RFP Released|
|May 11, 2022||Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF. Offerors should submit questions regarding this solicitation via email to Anna Beatrice (Anna.Beatrice@nfwf.org). NFWF will post all the questions and responses to all questions online so that all offerors have access to them at the same time. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be received by NFWF no later than 5:00 PM on May 11, 2022.|
|May 17, 2022||NFWF response to questions about the solicitation.
NFWF will post the questions submitted regarding the solicitation and responses on the NFWF website.
|June 10, 2022||Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals. Proposals must be received electronically as an email attachment to Anna Beatrice (Anna.Beatrice@nfwf.org) by 11:59 PM EDT on June 10, 2022. Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF.|
|June 2022||Interviews with selected finalists|
|July 2022||Contract awarded to selected offeror|
ELIGIBLE OFFERORS & CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT
Eligible offerors include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments. Small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises are strongly encouraged to apply.
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 proposal, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the proposal) 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/