Seabird Conservation Program 2020 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: Monday, August 10, 2020 by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to improve populations of focal seabirds through actions that improve survival and reproduction. 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 locations utilized by seabirds throughout their entire life cycle (on both land and at sea). The Seabird Conservation Program is supported by the Pacific Seabird Program Business Plan. Available funding for the Seabird Conservation Program varies between years and depending on implementation needs of the business plan. This request for proposals will award approximately $4,000,000 in support of Pacific seabird conservation efforts in 2020.


The 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) will focus on several geographies within the Pacific, including the following priority regions: Alaska, Chile, California Current (including Mexico), Hawaii and US overseas lands and territories in the Pacific.


All proposals must specifically address how projects will advance the Pacific Seabird Program Business Plan. In 2020, with only one future RFP planned (2021) we are explicitly seeking projects that advance programmatic strategies and focal species goals: 

  1. Management of non-native, invasive animals:  Introduced animals alter fragile island ecosystems through direct predation on seabirds and by destruction of breeding habitats.  NFWF will consider proposals that advance eradications in the Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile; on Guadalupe & Socorro Islands, MX and will also review projects that advance specific actions for focal species including, predator fencing efforts. Focal regions for this activity 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 seeks  proposals that align to focal species and continue habitat restoration efforts in Hawaii, species translocations to establish high island sea level rise resilient breeding locations and that build community and organizational capacity. We also seek proposals that ensure sustainability of investments through support of biosecurity planning. Focal regions for this activity include Chile, California Current and Hawaii. 
  3. Bycatch reduction: Seabird bycatch by fisheries is a global problem, killing hundreds of thousands of seabirds annually. NFWF seeks proposals that foster innovation, outreach, training, and research for the development and adoption of best practices and effective mitigation measures in fisheries with an emphasis on net fisheries (including gill nets) and fisheries that impact albatross and pink-footed shearwater. Focal regions for this activity include Alaska, Chile, California Current and Hawaii. 
  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. This RFP seeks projects that advance knowledge for focal species. 
  6. Focal species: For this RFP we are also explicitly seeking actions that advance business plan goals including for the following species: Aleutian tern – implementation of a monitoring framework and statewide survey; ashy storm-petrel – rangewide monitoring, SEFI planning and implementation; black-footed albatross – high island colony establishment (social attraction and/or translocation projects), Pacific bycatch assessment/mitigation; Hawaiian petrel – in situ colony protection, new colony establishment (social attraction/translocation); Laysan albatross – high island colony establishment and protection (social attraction/fencing), Pacific bycatch assessment/mitigation; Newell’s shearwater – in situ colony protection, new colony establishment (social attraction); Townsend’s shearwater – in situ colony protection (Socorro & Clarion). 

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


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 project (all possible program metrics are not shown in the table below, the table summarizes the most appropriate metrics for desired activities).  If you think an applicable metric has not been provided, please contact 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 - not for removing non-native invasive animals)
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
Planning, Research, Monitoring # 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)


Eligible and Ineligible 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 applicants include unincorporated individuals.

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.


The Seabird Conservation Program has approximately $4,000,000 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. Project period of performance may range from one to three years.


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.

Cost-Effectiveness – Project includes a cost-effective budget that balances performance risk and efficient use of funds.  Cost-effectiveness evaluation may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of either or both direct and indirect costs in the proposed budget. The federal government has determined that a de minimis 10% indirect rate is an acceptable minimum for organizations without a NICRA, as such NFWF reserves the right to scrutinize ALL proposals with indirect rates above 10% for cost-effectiveness.  

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 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.)


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.

Matching Contributions – Matching Contributions consist of cash, contributed goods and services, volunteer hours, and/or property raised and spent for the Project during the Period of Performance. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review.

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not 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.

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.


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 August 10, 2020 by 11:59pm EST
  Review Period August/September 2020
  Awards Announced November 2020


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. Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process. 
  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 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:

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.