California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund 2017 Request For Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date:   Monday, April 14, 2017 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to expand monitoring and accounting of flow restoration projects in priority California stream reaches in order to improve the efficacy of voluntary water transactions for enhancing streamflow. The goal of the California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund is to develop technical capacity and provide monitoring support for organizations, agencies and funders to effectively account for the impacts of flow enhancement projects on stream discharge, habitat, water quality and survival of native fish and wildlife. The California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund will award approximately $600,000 in grants from 2017 through 2019, with approximately $170,000 to be awarded in 2017. Major funding for the Flow Restoration Accounting Fund comes from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Geographic Focus

Grants will be awarded during the 2017 to 2019 period to partnership-based projects that significantly advance flow restoration objectives within areas depicted in Map 1.  Priority will be given to projects that directly benefit priority stream reaches in the following watersheds:

  • Russian River
  • Shasta River
  • Scott River
  • Upper Sacramento River
  • Eel River
  • Navarro River
  • Central Coast Watersheds

M​ap 1: Geographic ​focus for CA Flow Restoration Acccounting Fund



All proposals must specifically address how projects for which funds are requested will directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of program goals. The California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund seeks projects to achieve the following program priorities:
1)     Strengthen flow monitoring and accounting programs so that flow augmentation projects targeting Endangered Species Act listed aquatic species and critical ecosystems include:
a)     Compliance monitoring for water transaction projects;
b)     Flow gaging of transferred water instream.
2)     Contribute to a shared, standardized and centralized Flow Restoration Project database system to facilitate tracking, trend analysis, assessment and comparison of regional flow monitoring and restoration efforts.
3)     Participate in workshops and other field efforts to improve flow monitoring technologies and incorporate new technologies into existing programs.
4)     Conduct outreach efforts to strengthen and expand flow monitoring and accounting programs to ensure consistency in defining conservation objectives for priority stream reaches.


To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund 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 Femke Freiberg ( to discuss acceptable alternatives.
Project Activity
​Recommended Metric
​Additional Guidance
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance
# workshops, webinars, meetings
Enter the number of workshops, webinars, and meetings held to address project activity
Building institutional capacity
# of orgs contributing to goals
Enter the number of organizations contributing to the fund's conservation goals
Outreach/ Education/ Technical Assistance
# people reached
Enter the number of people reached by outreach, training, or technical assistance activities
Water acquisitions or leases
CFS of water added to base flow
Enter the cubic feet per second of cold water added to base flow
Improved management practices
Acres under improved management
For this metric, “improved management” can refer to new or maintained acres in irrigation efficiency or dryland management.
Water acquisitions or leases
Additional acre-feet
This metric refers to the additional acre-feet of water added annually to base flow in targeted river system.
Conservation easements
Miles under long-term easement
Enter the number of miles under long-term easement (permanent or >30yr)
Conservation easements
Acres protected under easement
Enter the number of acres protected under long-term easement (permanent or >30-yr)
Improved irrigation practices
Acre-feet of water conserved
This metric is intended to capture water savings from conservation projects that do not result in legally protected water.
Improved irrigation practices
CFS of water added in stream
Enter the cubic feet per second of cold water added to stream
Improved irrigation practices
Additional acre-feet
Enter the number of additional acre-feet of water
Improved irrigation practices
# of points of diversion moved
Enter the number of points of diversion moved from springs or high quality habitats.
Miles being monitored
Enter the number of miles being monitored
Acres being monitored
Enter the number of acres being monitored
# streams/sites being monitored
Enter the number of streams/sites being monitored
# monitoring programs
Enter the number of monitoring programs established or underway
# studies used to inform mgmt
Enter the number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform mgmt decisions
Management or Governance Planning
# plans developed
Enter the number of plans developed that had input from multiple stakeholders


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.


The California Flow Restoration Accounting Fund will award approximately $170,000 in 2017. Matching funds for either monitoring or flow augmentation project implementation are strongly encouraged.


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, water quality 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.
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 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.)


BudgetCosts 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 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 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 (  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.


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

Planning Call with NFWF Program Manager

March 10, 2017 – March 31, 2017​

Full Proposal Due Date

​April 14, 2017, 8:59 PM PST

Review Period

​April 17, 2017 – May 26, 2017

Awards Announced

​May 29, 2017 – June 2, 2017



All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation’s Easygrants system. 
  1. Schedule a proposal planning call with California Water Programs Manager Femke Freiberg to discuss project eligibility. Email: | Phone: 415-243-3104.
  2. 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.
  3. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options. 
  4. 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 at Flow Restoration Accounting Fund.
A Tip Sheet is available for quick reference while you are working through your application. This document can be downloaded at Flow Restoration Accounting Fund.  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:
Femke Freiberg
Manager, California Water Programs
Phone: 415-243-3104
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.

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