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: 

  • Scope 1EE: Equity and Environmental Education in the Time of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to Support Environmental Education Providers

Due to the significant operational and economic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Education Workgroup has identified an urgent need to provide financial assistance to environmental education providers. This financial assistance will provide organizations with critical support to retain staffing as their operations pivot from place-based environmental education to virtual platforms and physically distanced schoolyard programs This funding is from the CFDA # 66.466.

  • Scope of Work 2: Volunteer Monitoring Support for Macroinvertebrate Sampling to Fill Chesapeake Bay Program Data Gaps

Infrastructure and equipment for volunteer monitoring groups are needed for macroinvertebrate sample collections to contribute to data gaps and to support COVID-19 considerations for sampling.  This scope includes purchasing and providing equipment for macroinvertebrate sampling that will be completed by volunteer monitoring groups, developing macroinvertebrate sampling training resources, and improving the resolution of data and density of existing monitoring sites.  This funding is from the CFDA # 66.466.

  • Scope of Work 3: Developing Communications and Guidance on Shoreline Protection Options for Coastal Landowners

Accessible and easily understandable shoreline information is needed to help change perspective and ultimately the behavior of coastal shoreline owners.  This scope includes developing content that can be used to communicate potential shoreline protection options with landowners, with an emphasis on natural and nature-based methods, including living shorelines. Improved communication is necessary to increase awareness and behavior change among coastal landowners considering shoreline modification projects, as well as shoreline management (marine) contractors that implement these projects. This funding is from the CFDA # 66.466.

Who can apply:

Scope #1EE:  Non-profit organizations.
Scope #2:      Both non-profit organizations AND for-profit entities
Scope #3:      Both non-profit organizations AND for-profit entities

How much can be awarded:

Scope #1EE:  $20,000
Scope #2:      $50,000
Scope #3:      $50,000

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

Scope Of Work 1EE:  Equity And Environmental Education In The Time Of Covid-19 To Support Environmental Education Providers (Maximum Request: $20,000)

View the RFP for Scope of Work 1EE, here.

Scope of Work 2:  Volunteer Monitoring Support for Macroinvertebrate Sampling to Fill Chesapeake Bay Program Data Gaps (Maximum Request: $50,000)

Scope of Work 3:  Developing Communications and Guidance on Shoreline Protection Options for Coastal Landowners (Maximum Request: $50,000)

View the RFP for Scopes of Work 2 and 3, here.

Deadline was: Monday, October 19, 2020 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 #1EE

Question 1: Is this opportunity only for non-profit organizations?

Answer 1: Correct, this particular opportunity is for non-profit organizations. However, you could pass along this funding opportunity to non-profits that you know would be well-suited to do this work and to let more people know about this throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed or work with a non-profit and have the non-profit apply for the funds directly.

Question 2: Are the COVID Environmental Education grants only open to Chesapeake watershed organizations?

Answer 2: Yes, organizations and any schools served using this funding must be located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Question 3: The RFP examples and language seems to indicate implementation activities are a priority, but we also noticed the main RFP deliverable stating “successful awardees will develop work plans to address an operational challenge caused by COVID-19 as described above.”  Currently, we were hoping to focus much of our proposal on implementation given the period of performance in the RFP indicates a start date of 12/1/2020.  There will be some planning and development as we go along, but we were wondering if our proposal focus on implementation would be potentially competitive?  Or would you recommend we focus instead on the remaining development goals?

Answer 3: The intent of the RFP is to ensure that environmental education organizations continue to be able to innovate and operate during this challenging time. For that reason, demonstrating need and a response to that need will be important. Implementation is an allowable use of the funds in that context.

Question 4: We are a non-profit organization, but would not be the non-profit apply for the grant, we would be the contractor? Does that meet the guidelines? 

Answer 4: The intent of this scope is to support a nonprofit during these unprecedented and strained times so your proposal should not include significant contractual costs for a number of other entities, unless there is a justification made that is focuses on the need of this funding to ensure an existing program continues to operate.  Please note that if you include “contractual” costs over $3,000 in your budget you need to meet Federal procurement guidelines.  As stated in the RFP, “The Applicant should specify the intent to procure subcontracting services and demonstrate compliance with federal procurement guidelines for all subcontracting services between $3,000 and $150,000, including:

  1. Obtain three estimates for subcontracted work or
  2. Obtain subcontracted services through a competitive bid process”

Question 5: Our organization has an EIN # but I don’t think they have a DUNS #? Is that something they must have to apply?

Answer 5:  As stated in the RFP, “No entity may enter into an award with the Trust under this funding opportunity unless the entity has provided its DUNS (Dun & Bradstreet) number to the Trust.”  We request the DUNS number in the online application.  So, an organization needs a DUNS number to be awarded a grant and it is preferred by the Trust to provide the DUNS number at the time of application.  If an organization does not have a DUNS number, it can be created within one business day. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website at  or call 1-866-705-5711 to register or search for a DUNS number, which is free of charge.

Question 6: Regarding deliverables, we hope to request these funds for implementation of programming already created. Since we are not developing new products or tools – largely adapting our in-person programming to a virtual format – is it OK that we don’t have any to share with the Education Workgroup?

Answer 6: You do not need to share any materials that pre-date the award.

Question 7: What documentation do you suggest we provide for reporting on live, virtual environmental education sessions? Permission to record minors may be an issue, so I prefer to avoid sending video of our sessions. We will track numbers of teachers, students, sessions, dates, etc. So we can provide documentation of those, as we have done with other grants from the Trust. Is that sufficient?

Answer 7: Providing traditional reporting metrics such as student numbers along with a description of the lessons learned from the process is sufficient.

Question 8: Can we include activities in our proposed work plan that occur in October through the end of November 2020? Or only activities occurring after December 1, 2020? 

Answer 8: If awarded, the award letter will be dated 11/18/2020, which is the date of our board meeting.  Any expenses that you accrue 11/18 and onward may be submitted, although the award letter will likely be sent on 12/1/2020.  So yes, a timeline beginning on 12/15/20 and ending on 8/31/2021 is correct and as stated in the RFP.

Question 9: If awarded, will the funds be provided upfront or is it a reimbursement grant? And when will the funds be available?

Answer 9:  If awarded, 90% of the funds will be provided upfront after the award agreement is signed and, if applicable, any award contingencies are met.

Question 10:  Should we use the deliverables table provided in RFP (Table 1. Project deliverables and timeline) in our 3-page narrative, question #6?

Answer 10: Yes, adjust the deliverables table provided in RFP (Table 1. Project deliverables and timeline) in your 3-page narrative, as necessary and to respond to question #6 on page 5 of the RFP.

Question 11: Is the focus of this RFP (a) “operational support” or  (b) “project implementation?”

Answer 11: While either approach (operational or project implementation) would be considered, project implementation at any time scale is closer to the intent of the RFP. Operational costs to support planning and implementation of programming would be an allowable expense (e.g. new IT software for community engagement).

Scope of Work #2

Question 1: I am unable to find the “gaps identified in the CBP’s Strategic Research and Science Framework” as indicated in the 1st paragraph of the Purpose & Outcomes section of Section 1.3 of the RFP. I was able to see the attached spreadsheet but cannot determine actual data gaps. Perhaps I am taking “gaps identified in the CBP’s Strategic Research and Science Framework” in the wrong context?

Answer 1: The Stream Health Indicator work of the Chesapeake Bay Program is building upon the best available data distributed across the watershed in each six-year assessment. Many thousands of data points are contributed from around the watershed in each assessment period. However, there are many areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed lacking sampling data to make an assessment of stream health conditions based on actual monitoring data and improve the scale of the assessment. Upwards of 90% of the watershed may not have the samples from areas required to support desired analyses and spatial resolution by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.  These areas are presently modeled to estimate conditions in those undersampled and unsampled areas to help complete the picture of the assessment on a watershed-wide scale. All watershed States and Washington DC have streams that represent gaps in space that may eventually be addressed through the assistance of sampling projects and programs. Specific locations recognized as gaps in sampling and prioritized to best support and fulfil data needs of the Chesapeake Bay Program Stream Health assessment are likewise going to be drawn from streams across the full range of the watershed jurisdictions. As stated in the RFP, maps of under-sampled areas will be provided to the winning bidder.

Question 2: The question that we need help with is identifying the macroinvertebrate sampling guidelines referred to under Step 4 on page 4:  “Consistent with the CBP Stream Health Working Group guidelines for macroinvertebrate sampling,…”  Can you provide us with the specific guidelines for the required benthic sampling methodology? It appears that the CBP STARS program uses the “Chessie IBI”- is this accurate? If so, would we be able to receive metric guidance on this as well?

Answer 2: Sampling method: With potentially minor differences in final details that are being decided for a consistent sampling protocol, EPA Rapid Bioassessment is the foundation of the sampling protocol for a reference protocol. Wadeable streams are the target habitats. D-nets are expected to be used to collect the samples. Time of sample collection and instream habitat targets will be defined in the final protocol but those decisions are not affecting your equipment needs. Bucket sieves will be used to help separate out rocks, large debris, fish, trash from bugs and fines when samples are dumped from the D-net and prepared for the collection jug. A collection jug, probably 1 gallon plastic with secure lid, is necessary to hold the sample for holding and delivery to the lab. Up to a gallon of preservative will be needed to fill each sample jar. Data sheets (Write in the Rain) will be required to record sampling data at each location and put a label inside the jar with sample site/date information. Pens/Permanent marker will be needed to clearly label the jar for identification of the sample by the collector, the laboratory, and for data management purposes. It is up to the collectors to decide what gear they want to wear to do the sampling work. Potentially, sorting trays, a table, tweezers could become part of a program when individuals or groups are trained to do advanced cleaning of samples and bug sorting to pick a sample for a target sample size as a clean sample.  Regarding the Chessie IBI, you may refer to several documents:

  1. Chesapeake Progress – stream health indicator. Methods documentation
  2. Smith et al. 2017. Refinement of the Basin-wide Index of Biotic integrity for nontidal streams and wadeable rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  3. Chessie BIBI Refinement – pg. iii Executive Summary The “Chessie BIBI,” or Chesapeake Basin-wide Index of Biotic Integrity, is a multi-metric index that measures the biological quality of streams and wadeable rivers:
  4. Maloney, et. al. 2018. Predicting biological conditions for small headwater streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Predicting biological conditions for small headwater streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed Kelly O. Maloney1,3, Zachary M. Smith2,4, Claire Buchanan2,5, Andrea Nagel2,6, and John A. Young1,7 1US Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430 USA 2Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB):