Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Support

The Chesapeake Bay Trust has been designated to receive federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Initiative. The work funded by this initiative advances outcomes identified in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Each year, certain outcomes are chosen by the Chesapeake Bay Program as top priorities to address, and these stretch across all Goal Implementation Teams (GIT) and workgroups. For more information about the initiative, view how the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership is organized into committees, goal implementation teams, workgroups and action teams here.

What this funds: 

This year, there are twelve (12) scopes of work identified as priority projects.  This funding is from the CFDA # 66.466.  Offerors may bid on one or more of the following scopes:

Scope # FFY20 Scope Title Maximum Bid Amount
Scope of Work 1: Public Access Research – Benefits and Barriers Across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed $75,000
Scope of Work 2: Chesapeake Bay Program Social Science Assessment and Integration Road Map Development $75,000
Scope of Work 3: Maintaining Forests in Stream Corridor Restoration and Sharing Lessons Learned $90,000
Scope of Work 4: Planning for Clean Water – Local Government Workshops $70,000
Scope of Work 5: Management Approaches to Reduce Stressors of Stream Health $47,500
Scope of Work 6: Modeling Climate Impacts on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay $75,000
Scope of Work 7: Forage Indicator Development – Using Environmental Drivers to Assess Forage Status $60,000
Scope of Work 8: Synthesis of Shoreline, Sea Level Rise, and Marsh Migration Data for Wetland Restoration Targeting $72,500
Scope of Work 9: Methods to Integrate Co-Benefits of Toxic Contaminant Reduction into Decision-Making Tools $56,000
Scope of Work 10: Developing Standards and Metrics to Target the Conservation of “Green Spaces” in Underrepresented and Low-Income Urban and Rural Communities $70,000
Scope of Work 11: Cultivating and Strengthening Partnerships with Underrepresented Stakeholders $65,000
Scope of Work 12: Development of Cost-Effective Methods to Measure Site-Specific Denitrification Rates for Proposed Oyster Restoration Best Management Practices $80,000

Who can apply: Both non-profit organizations AND for-profit entities

Is match required: Match is encouraged but is not required.

Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s applications are all submitted though an online system. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact this program’s manager, Sarah Koser at 410-974-2941, ext. 106.

Program Status: CLOSED

View the RFP, here.

Deadline was: Friday, January 22, 2021 at 4pm EST

Manage an Existing Contract

Manage an existing contract or application

Questions & Technical Support

Sarah Koser
410-974-2941 x106

FY21 RFP Frequently Asked Questions:

Scope of Work #1

Q #1A: Scope #1 assumes methodologies that are generally carried out on a longer timeline. If a Contractor proposes a methodology that could significantly shorten the duration of the research project, is this permissible? And I assume it would be best to state those intentions in the application, correct?

A #1A: If a contractor can do the research in a shorter time frame that is fine and can be described in the project narrative and in the deliverables table.

Q #1B: Is Scope #1 only requiring the Contractor to assess access and barriers to the 194 public access points created since 2013? Will the Contractor be required to assess any new access points that are created during the length of the project?

A #1B: We want the contractor to look at all existing public access sites and not just those created since 2013 to select the watersheds to be evaluated.  Remember, we are looking for a mix of urban and rural watersheds to be evaluated that are representative of the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In some watersheds, public access sites may have been there historically resulting in few new sites. The contractor will not be expected to assess new access sites created during the research project.

Q #1C: How does a Contractor reflect a co-applicant on an application?

A #1C: remember you need to identify both an Executive Officer and a Project Leader, two separate individuals, from the same organization.  A contractor would reflect a “co-applicant” – assuming they are from a different organization – and would be considered a subcontractor.  Remember, contractors need to obtain multiple estimates/bids for subcontracted services over $3,000 and use good-faith efforts to engage Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), and Small Business Enterprises (SBEs).

Scope of Work #3

Q #1A: Step 2 includes review of policies and procedures at identified counties where stream restoration has been occurring and conducting interviews with 4-6 individuals in each jurisdiction. Have these counties already been identified by the project team? If so what are the locations? If not, is there a target number of counties we should include in our scope? Should we assume that these jurisdictions will provide information on the 12 projects that are the focus of Step 3?

A #1A: No, these counties have not yet been identified. They will be identified during Phase 1 in collaboration with the Project Team.

Q #1B: The RFP refers to use of new high-resolution land use change and hydrography datasets. What layers does this refer to and will these be available by the project start?

A #1B: The RFP is referring to the new land use change and hydrography datasets currently being produced by a contractor. Although the completed Baywide datasets won’t be available until later in 2021, the Project Team will help select areas for spatial analysis where subsets of the data are ready at the project start and can help facilitate access to needed data after the first meeting with the Team.

Q #1C: Is the focus of this scope only on forests in the stream corridor, or does it more broadly include other types of riparian vegetation? The RFP uses ‘forest buffers’ in some places and other times it says ‘the riparian community,’ so we wanted to clarify.

A #1C: The focus is on riparian forest communities, so not just trees per se, but other community data that will be useful to assess the success of the restoration.

Q #1D: Is the intention of the webcasts to just distribute the findings from the project or does CBP envision these as part information sharing and part forum for discussion and gathering additional information?

A #1D: The intention of the webcast is to disseminate information from the project and other relevant sources as appropriate. The webcasts will also provide opportunities for questions and discussions leading to follow-up steps for partners including state and local governments, research and other partners. Information from these interactions with webcast participants should contribute to the webcast summaries and “next steps” documents referenced in Step 7.

Q #1E: A deliverable in Step 1 is a draft report of best practices for local governments for review and discussion.  This same deliverable is referenced in later steps but the contractor will not have conducted any of the research yet in Step 1 so what is the expectation as far as content of this document for the Step 1 deliverable?  Is it more of an outline of what might go into this document?

A #1E: The draft report from Step 1 would compile any existing resources on best practices for local governments. The final best practices document (Step 5) would add best practices that emerge from the project.

Q #1F: Please clarify the difference between the Draft Report in Step 4 and the Best Practices document described in Step 5.  Both are described as being for local governments and include a summary of opportunities to improve consideration of forests in stream corridor restoration.

A #1F: There will likely be some crossover between the two reports as noted, in that they should both be accessible to local governments and include a summary of opportunities to improve consideration of forests in stream corridor restoration. However, the Draft Report will be more comprehensive, summarizing all work completed during Steps 1-4, whereas the Best Practices document will be “stand alone” and focus on communicating Best Practices for state and local governments to follow.

Scope of Work #6

Q #1: The project description in Scope #6 lists stakeholder partners and also the formation of a steering committee during the first phase of the project.  I wanted some guidance on whether a potential list of steering committee members should be included in the proposal and what constituted a project investigator (PI) for the proposal.  For example, should folks from the CBP WQ Team that provide us with data and expertise be listed in the proposal or just be considered part of the steering committee?

A #1: Applicants are welcome to include a list of proposed steering committee representatives, but it is not required. The PI is the individual leading the projects and is responsible for either completing the proposed tasks or overseeing their completion and would receive funding to perform those tasks. If the CBP WQ team is providing data, it may be beneficial to include one or more representatives on the steering committee if they are willing, but it is not required.

 Q #2:The budget is $75,000.  Are there any restrictions on applications (travel, meetings, etc)?  I don’t see a minimum match requirement, is there a recommended target match?

A #2: Travel and meetings can be included in your budget, if applicable to the scope.  Match is preferred but not required; reviewers may score the budget portion of your application favorably if match is provided.

Q #3: The project lays out the usage of GAM or other non-parametric approaches to data analysis.  While we are 100% comfortable with these approaches we would like to know if additional methods are allowable in the description of work? 

A #3: Yes, the statistical approaches referenced in the RFP have been used in past and current analyses. Other appropriate statistics to assess non-linear interactions between SAV habitat parameters and climate stressors would be allowed as long as an explanation of their use and benefits are included.

Q #4: My question is whether a missing qualification listed under Scope #6 would automatically disqualify a proposal.

A #4: Proposals are evaluated on a number of factors, including project team qualifications and experience, proposed approach and capacity, and overall time commitment and cost. A missing qualification would not necessarily disqualify a proposal from the review process. 

Scope of Work #10

Q #1A: Can an individual apply?

A #1A: An individual associated with an organization that has a DUNS # is welcome to apply.

Q #1B: Are the various mapping products in the outcomes to be webmaps and if so, who will host them?

A #1B: Yes they will be webmaps and they will be posted on the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership’s website.

Q #1C: Is it possible to get info on “Targeted Local Outreach for Green Infrastructure in Vulnerable Areas”? Grant Number: 17722, referenced in Appendix A page 41 of the RFP.

A #1C: This referenced EPA GIT Scope has not yet been completed.

Q #1D: Can the contractor make its own timeline and goals and deliverables?

A #1D: A project deliverable schedule should be submitted with your proposal, including details for each deliverable, type of deliverable format, submittal date, and total cost.

Q #1E: Are the listed stakeholders part of the working group or proposal reviewers?

A #1E: The listed stakeholders part of the working group.

Q #1F: Is the analysis limited to the listening session communities, or those meeting the threshold or the entire watershed?

A #1F: The analysis will come in part from those living in the watershed that meet the threshold. The listening sessions will be from three different communities and these sessions will provide insights from community leaders on steps to gain community trust, the relative value and priority for greening projects and initial thoughts on standards and metrics. Based upon that gathered information and research and evaluations of other relevant studies,  the contractor will create the recommended criteria and thresholds to define and map underrepresented communities of color and to characterize and map each such community’s adequacy or inadequacy of  “green spaces.”

Q #2: Are educational institutions eligible to submit a proposal to this rfp?

A #2: Yes, there are no organizations precluded from applying – these are federal dollars and education institutions are eligible.

Q #3: I am hoping to collaborate with scientists at a ‘for profit’ company (i.e., Bay#1 LLC), on this proposal. Would I be able to fund my collaboration with Bay#1 LLC through a sole-source subaward, or would I have to treat them as a contractor (in other words, we would need to put the collaboration out for bid, get 3 different quotes, etc)?

A #3: The argument for sole-sourcing contractual work is sometimes appropriate, but you must demonstrate that Bay#1 LLC is the only firm that can complete this task and, therefore, no other contractors had the expertise.  That seems unlikely – remember, these will be awarded as contracts, not sub-awards.  If you want Bay#1 LLC on your team and you are the applicant, they must be a sub-contractor; you can easily reach out to two other consultants and get them to send you a price quote/proposal or you could put out an advertisement (previous contactors have used Chesapeake Network to advertise their call for proposals).  Remember that if awarded, the applicant will need to provide the following: at least three estimates for subcontracted work over $3K, documentation that the project was advertised through a competitive bid process, and/or additional justification to select a service provider in order to meet federal procurement guidelines (Title 2 CFR 200).See 2CFR 200.320 for more details:

Q #4: Is it possible to get info on “Targeted Local Outreach for Green Infrastructure in Vulnerable Areas”? Grant Number: 17722, referenced in Appendix A page 41 of the RFP?

A #4: The goal of the project Targeted Outreach for Green Infrastructure in Vulnerable Areas (TOGI) is to identify underserved communities in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania that are both facing a threat from climate change and have habitat of conservation or restoration value. We will then work with local leaders in those communities to identify and design green infrastructure projects that will make the biggest impact, addressing the specific challenges they face and working to improve habitat value and climate resiliency. Our contractor will hold local listening sessions and workshops with each community to ensure we are tailoring our assistance to their individual needs and capturing what they are hoping to gain from working with us. While the scope of TOGI does not extend to the implementation of the green infrastructure, we plan to assist these communities up until they are “shovel ready” and even help them identify funding sources for the implementation. The TOGI Steering Committee has identified Cambridge, in Maryland, West Point, in Virginia, and Williamsport, in Pennsylvania, as the three communities we would like to pursue working with. We are currently conducting outreach and meeting with members of each of these communities, working to ensure we have interest in our project from the community. Our contractor will soon be moving forward with coordination of the local listening sessions that will be used to tailor the assistance that we can provide. We hope to hold our first listening session in early spring of 2021 and complete workshops in all three of our communities by the end of the summer.

Scope of Work #11

Q #1A: Does CBP have a preference for women/minority owned firms? Do you have any other preferences?

A #1A: As stated in the RFP, “This RFP encourages the participation of minority/disadvantaged/women/small business enterprise (MBE/DBE/WBE/SBE) firms and the Trust encourages MBE/DBE/WBE/SBE firms who meet the qualifications to respond to this scope.  Similarly, for all subcontracted work, the applicant should demonstrate that Good Faith Efforts were used to engage MBEs/DBEs/WBEs/SBEs by reaching out to MBE/DBE/WBE/SBE firms to obtain estimates or bids”

Q #1B: If in-person meetings are an option at the time, will CBP prefer the conference/forum to be in-person?

A #1B: Yes, because it would allow for more interaction and networking. However, looking at the state of COVID-19 and vaccine distribution now in early January, it would be surprising if in-person meetings are an option by then. Please provide a proposal that is flexible and could pivot from in-person to virtual, as appropriate.

Q #1C: Is the proposed project based on similar programs that have been developed elsewhere or used by other organizations?  If yes, could you please provide 1) contact information for two or three such programs or 2) references to literature or published reports that we might consult.

A #1C: The proposed project is not based on similar programs elsewhere. That said, here are some related initiatives and resources:

Q #1D: Why are you choosing to outsource this project rather than staffing it internally?

A #1D: Mainly for capacity issues. At the Chesapeake Bay Program office we have several staff who work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. However, out of these staff, only one person’s job is solely devoted to this work, while the other staff members have additional responsibilities. Now, with a greater emphasis by leadership to advance this work, we could really use the help from a contractor to complete this project. We believe this project will be instrumental in influencing and guiding the partnership’s long-term work with currently underrepresented partners. It will be very valuable to have an external or independent contractor/organization come in an provide an unbiased point of view to facilitate the focus groups and come up with recommendations as described in the project steps and deliverables.

Q #1E: Will we be able to learn who the other bidders are?

A #1E: No, but all past winning bidders are located on our webpage here:

Q #1F: In our proposal, may we include references and hyperlinks to electronic resources, e.g, to web pages?

A #1F: Yes, that is perfectly acceptable.

Q #2A: “Word on the Street” is that this is to be a state-wide initiative.  I know that we would be talking with folks from CBT and sharing information.  Is it fair to assume that community leaders statewide should be involved in the project?

A #2A: This is actually a Chesapeake Bay watershed-wide initiative! Ideally we would like the representation from across the watershed. Collectively the community leaders should represent most or all states in the watershed, as well as DC (so, for example, the project can aim for 1-3 community leaders per state or DC). This might be challenging to do, however as stated in the Scope the contractor can work with the Diversity Workgroup leadership to identify community leaders including leaders that live in other states/areas where the contractor may not work. This is a regional effort, but ultimately we hope that this project will work in alignment and help further state-specific initiatives as well as other initiatives being led by individual Chesapeake Bay Program partner organizations.   

Q #2B: We are a small non-profit in a town that is now 51% communities of color.  I have amassed an extensive array of community leaders with a vested interest in this that represent various agencies and communities.  Is this enough or should we expand our reach to Baltimore, Prince Georges, Prince Charles and Somerset?

A #2B: As stated in the previous response, we are hoping to involve community leaders that represent different communities throughout the watershed. That said, we certainly welcome and encourage applications from small non-profit partners who can leverage connections they have already built at the local level, and if needed the Diversity Workgroup can assist with identifying community leaders from other locations in the watershed.

Q #2C: Is this grant likely to be available again in the summer of 2021 or does it look like this is the only opportunity to apply?

A #2C: No, this is the only opportunity to apply for this project. There may be future opportunities that are similar in scope, however that is not guaranteed at this time.