North Coast MPA Baseline Program RFP
The North Coast MPA Baseline Program Request for Proposals is open from April 24 through August 14, 2013
- Purposes of the North Coast MPA Baseline Program
- Program Scope
- Program Guidelines
- Project Deliverables
- Application Package
- Eligibility Information
- Proposal Format
- Required Elements
- Additional Considerations
- Submission Instructions and Deadlines (update: 7/23/2013)
- Bidders Conference (PDF)
update: 5/06/2013 - Agenda;
update: 5/17/2013 - Presentation 1 (overview), Presentation 2 (application) updated 5/22/2013
update: 5/31/2013 - Summary of Key Themes
update: 5/31/2013 - Bidders Conference Participant LIst
update: 7/23/2013 - TIps and Clarifications
- Additional Activities
- Supporting Information
- California Sea Grant
- MPA Monitoring Enterprise
- Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Ocean Protection Council
Appendix 1: Draft North Coast MPA Monitoring Metrics for Baseline Characterization and Assessment of Initial Ecological and Socioeconomic Changes
- Cover Sheet
- Project Summary (updated 7/18/2013: sample only. Please fill out Project Summary online)
- Milestone Chart and Sample Milestone Chart (updated 7/17/2013: sample only. Please attach to end of Project Narrative to be uploaded online.)
- Single Institution Budget Form or Multi-Institution Budget Form (updated 7/17/2013: sample only. Please fill out budget worksheets online.)
- Current Research Support (updated 7/17/2013: sample only. Please fill out Current and Pending Support page online.)
Download Full RFP as PDF
Instructions for Submissions
The California North Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Baseline Program (Baseline Program) is a collaboration among the MPA Monitoring Enterprise (Monitoring Enterprise), a program of the California Ocean Science Trust (OST), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), and California Sea Grant (Sea Grant). Members of the North Coast community, including North Coast Tribes, elected officials, scientists, ocean users, and interested members of the public, informed the development of this RFP. As in the other three regions (i.e., North Central Coast, Central Coast, South Coast), the OPC has authorized $4 million to support the North Coast MPA Baseline Program.
Proposals are requested for projects that address the purposes of the Baseline Program, which are:
- To provide a summary description, assessment, and understanding of ecological and socioeconomic conditions, or ‘benchmark’ in the North Coast region, inside and outside MPAs designated pursuant to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), against which future MPA performance can be measured; and
- To document initial ecological changes and the short-term net socioeconomic benefits or costs following MPA implementation.
The deadline for submission of project proposals is 5:00 pm PDT August 14, 2013. Awards are anticipated to be made in October 2013. Proposals will be accepted for projects of any duration but up to three years, with anticipated award start date of early 2014 and end date of early 2017. This opportunity is contingent upon continued availability of state funding.
All proposals will be evaluated against the criteria listed in Section IV-A, including alignment with Baseline Program purposes, scientific and technical merit, demonstration of partnerships, incorporation of local expertise, costs, funding leveraging, and qualifications of project leads. The evaluation process will involve two peer review steps: (1) independent, external peer reviews and (2) a review panel. Reviewers and panel members will be chosen based on scientific, technical and local expertise relevant to the proposals received and will be selected by Sea Grant in collaboration with DFW, OPC, and the Monitoring Enterprise. The review panel will be convened to review all proposals and recommend the specific proposals or proposal elements to fund, along with the level of funding for each. Final decisions will be made jointly by staff of Sea Grant, DFW, OPC, and the Monitoring Enterprise.
The North Coast MPA Baseline Program Bidders Conference will be held on May 9, 2013 from 4:00-7:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center. This conference will provide more information to potential applicants and aims to facilitate partnerships and information exchange among applicants and collaborators, including those involved in existing monitoring programs in the region. RSVPs for the bidders conference should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org (please use "Bidders Conference RSVP" as the subject line) or by phone to (858) 534-0577. RSVPs are requested no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2013. To stay informed of upcoming workshops, meetings, and other North Coast MPA monitoring planning activities, please e-mail Erin Meyer (email@example.com) to join the North Coast listserv, and please visit the North Coast MPA Baseline Program page on OceanSpaces.org (http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa-baseline-program).
Questions related to proposal requirements should be directed to Sea Grant, DFW, or the Monitoring Enterprise (see Section VI for guidance and contact information). Answers to frequently asked questions, additional details regarding the bidders conference, and any updates relating to this RFP will be available on the California Sea Grant website (http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/NorthCoastMPA2014-15.html). Persons intending to submit proposals in response to this RFP should consult this website frequently for updates and additional information.
A. Background (top)
The 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (Chapter 10.5 of the California Fish & Game Code, §2850-2863) directs the state to reevaluate and redesign California’s system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to meet the following goals:
- Protect the natural diversity and abundance of marine life, and the structure, function and integrity of marine ecosystems.
- Help sustain, conserve and protect marine life populations, including those of economic value, and rebuild those that are depleted.
- Improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems that are subject to minimal human disturbance, and manage these uses in a manner consistent with protecting biodiversity.
- Protect marine natural heritage, including protection of representative and unique marine life habitats in California waters for their intrinsic values.
- Ensure California's MPAs have clearly defined objectives, effective management measures and adequate enforcement and are based on sound scientific guidelines.
- Ensure the State's MPAs are designed and managed, to the extent possible, as a network.
The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) further requires monitoring of MPAs, specifically "monitoring, research, and evaluation at selected sites to facilitate adaptive management of MPAs and ensure that the [MPA] system meets the goals stated in this chapter".1
MPAs in the North Coast region were adopted by the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) on June 6, 2012 and took effect on December 19, 2012. The next step is to design and implement baseline monitoring. Members of the North Coast community, including North Coast Tribes, elected officials, scientists, ocean users, and interested members of the public provided information that informed the development of this RFP. Input was gathered by the Baseline Program partners and the North Coast Community Liaisons through community meetings, discussion sessions, and other collaborative efforts. These activities enabled the Baseline Program partners to develop a RFP that reflects the unique characteristics of the North Coast region and encompasses the interests and priorities of the local community.
Similar to other regions, results from the Baseline Program will directly inform long-term monitoring strategies and will guide the launch of collaborative, efficient and cost-effective long-term monitoring planning. While in other regions long-term monitoring plans have been developed at the same time as the Baseline Program, for the North Coast, long-term monitoring planning is expected to commence after the completion of the Baseline Program. The Monitoring Enterprise, in close collaboration with DFW, developed an innovative, scientific framework for monitoring. Following extensive technical evaluation by leading scientists and resource managers, the framework was adopted by the FGC and applied to the North Central Coast and South Coast regions. The framework will also guide long-term MPA monitoring in the North Coast region and will be adapted as needed following completion of the Baseline Program. Long-term monitoring will be designed to reflect the unique characteristics of the North Coast region, while ensuring sufficient consistency to make comparisons among regions and assess the performance of the MPAs statewide.
B. Purposes ot the North Coast MPA Baseline Program (top)
The North Coast MPA Baseline Program has two purposes:
- Baseline Characterization is a summary description, assessment, and understanding of ecological and socioeconomic conditions, or "benchmark", of the North Coast region, inside and outside MPAs designated pursuant to the MLPA. For the purposes of this Baseline Program, "baseline" is defined as the ecological and socioeconomic conditions at or near the time of MPA implementation. The Baseline Program offers the opportunity to broadly describe and assess these conditions in the region. Baseline characterization can be achieved through collection of new information and evaluation of existing information (see Section I-C), thus providing a benchmark against which future MPA performance can be measured. It also informs long-term monitoring by providing an opportunity for initial investigation and evaluation of draft monitoring metrics.
- Assessment of Initial Socioeconomic and Ecological Changes involves documenting initial ecological changes and the short-term net socioeconomic benefits or costs following MPA implementation. Some socioeconomic changes, including changes to recreational and commercial fishing and to tribal traditional and subsistence activities, will necessarily occur immediately after MPA implementation. Some ecological changes may occur quickly, but others may not be detectable within the timeframe of the Baseline Program.
C. Program Scope (top)
The following section describes the program scope, including geographic coverage, timeframe, key ecosystems, and human interactions with marine ecosystems. In addition, opportunities for gathering traditional ecological knowledge and evaluating contextual information are described.
The Baseline Program encompasses the North Coast region, which extends along the California coastline from the California/Oregon border in Del Norte County to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino. In general, state waters in the North Coast region extend from the shoreline (mean high tide) out to three nautical miles from shore. However, state waters in the North Coast region also include three nautical miles around offshore rocks, such as Castle Rock and Southwest Seal Rock. The MPA network for the North Coast region currently includes multiple designations: six State Marine Reserves, 13 State Marine Conservation Areas, one State Marine Recreational Management Area, and seven Special Closures. For more information, see "Supporting Information," Section III-C. All designations are equally important and the Baseline Program does not specify specific locations for data collection. Rather, the Baseline Program seeks to characterize the region as a whole, both inside and outside MPAs.
Proposals will be accepted for projects of any duration, but proposed projects must be completed no later than early 2017. However, applicants should carefully consider the project duration necessary to achieve stated project goals and should articulate the need for, and benefits of, multi-year approaches, where proposed.
ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC SCOPE
The Baseline Program focuses on key ecosystems found in the North Coast region, which are referred to herein as "Ecosystem Features." Ecosystem Features collectively represent and encompass all the marine ecosystems in the region, including the ways in which humans interact with these ecosystems. Consistent with the purposes of the Baseline Program, as described above, all Ecosystem Features are equally important; as such the Baseline Program seeks to include diverse baseline data collection projects to provide comprehensive coverage across all features.
Ten Ecosystem Features have been identified for the North Coast region. These are:
- Estuarine & Wetland Ecosystems
- Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems
- Soft-bottom Intertidal & Beach Ecosystems
- Kelp & Shallow Rock Ecosystems (0-30 m depth)
- Mid-depth Rock Ecosystems (30-100 m depth)
- Soft-bottom Subtidal Ecosystems (0-100 m depth)
- Nearshore Pelagic Ecosystems (>30 m) (i.e., water column habitat within state waters)
- Deep Ecosystems (>100 m)
- Consumptive Uses
- Non-consumptive Uses
Proposed projects should identify one or more Ecosystem Features on which to focus data collection and analyses. The Baseline Program accords all Ecosystem Features equal priority, but this does not mean that funding will be distributed equally among Ecosystem Features as some are more resource-intensive for data collection. Rather, the Baseline Program seeks to provide the most comprehensive coverage possible across all Ecosystem Features. To guide design of individual proposals, Appendix 1 provides a list of draft monitoring metrics for each of these Ecosystem Features.
TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE
For the purposes of the Baseline Program, TEK is defined as a cumulative body of scientific knowledge that evolves adaptively through time as a result of living in and observing the local environment for many generations.3 This knowledge is passed down through generations by cultural transmission, and thus is based on longstanding historical traditions and adapted over time to present-day context. As such, TEK can address both purposes of the Baseline Program (see Section I-B), encompassing knowledge of historical and current ecological and socioeconomic conditions, and of initial changes in these conditions. For example, TEK may extend to knowledge of broad ecological shifts that are linked to changes in environmental conditions, geographic patterns of species and resource use, environmental trends, and perhaps life history information that is currently unknown outside of the tribes (e.g., spawning aggregations, habitat use by species during different life stages). TEK can also inform identification of monitoring metrics, selection of monitoring sites, and monitoring methodology.
Applicants are not required to gather TEK; but if applicants choose to do so, it is within the scope of the Baseline Program. Expanding the scope of the Baseline Program to include TEK is the first step in ongoing efforts to link TEK to long-term monitoring of MPAs. Linking multiple sources of scientific knowledge is still a developing field of research4, but a clear opportunity exists for including TEK as part of the Baseline Program and long-term MPA monitoring. Proposals that include gathering TEK should have a project lead from the associated Tribe(s) or should demonstrate partnership(s) with the associated Tribe(s). Permits and permissions may be required for such projects (see Section II-E for more information).
Locations of certain Native American cultural places, as well as sensitive information about their nature and uses, are considered confidential and protected from public disclosure under various State and Federal laws, including the Freedom of Information Act. Protecting confidential information is an issue of utmost importance to Indigenous Peoples and is recognized in government-to-government consultation protocols and guidelines. However, data collected as part of the Baseline Program will be released to the public, although confidentiality of certain types of information (e.g., locations of cultural gathering sites) must be respected. For more information about the confidentiality policy in relation to TEK, along with sensitive socioeconomic and cultural information, see Section I-E.
For additional references and examples of projects that linked multiple sources of knowledge, please see the North Coast Baseline Program page on OceanSpaces.org (http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa- baseline-program).
Existing information, such as fishing patterns, physical oceanography, and water quality can help provide the contextual information needed for the interpretation of new ecological and socioeconomic data. As such, analysis and interpretation of existing information is within scope of the Baseline Program. However, please note that Baseline Program funds cannot be used to collect new contextual information. To view a partial list of historical and existing monitoring programs in the North Coast region, please visit the Baseline Program page (http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa-baseline-program) on OceanSpaces.org.
Fishery-dependent information from both commercial and recreational fisheries can provide important contextual and historical information for interpretation of ecological and socioeconomic data. For example, commercial fish dealers and receivers are required to submit landing receipts to DFW to report poundage, ex-vessel revenue by species or species groups, gear type, area fish were caught, date fish were landed, vessel name, fisherman name, and fish business name on landing receipts. This is just one example of a source of fisheries information. Proposals will be accepted that gather and analyze fisheries data. Such proposals should explicitly describe how these data will be used to address one or both purposes of the Baseline Program. For information about existing fisheries data, please refer to DFW’s website on commercial and recreational ocean fishing http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/fishing.asp.
PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
Physical oceanographic information can provide important contextual information for interpreting ecological patterns. Proposals will be accepted that incorporate analysis and interpretation of existing physical oceanographic data from historical and existing monitoring programs. For example, the Central and Northern California Coastal Observing System (CeNCOOS) collects information on ocean chemistry and conditions. Such proposals should highlight the way in which these programs and data will be incorporated into analyses to achieve one or both purposes of the Baseline Program.
D. Program Guidelines (top)
ADDRESSING PROGRAM PURPOSES
The Baseline Program seeks to implement the projects that will, collectively, best address the program purposes in the most cost-effective, efficient, and scientifically rigorous way. Proposed projects should include project goals that are explicitly linked to one or both of the Baseline Program purposes and will be evaluated on their individual and collective contribution towards these program purposes.
A proposal submitted to contribute to Baseline Characterization should be structured to address the following objectives for each North Coast Ecosystem Feature included in the proposed project:
Description of the Ecosystem Feature(s) inside and outside MPAs
One of the objectives of Baseline Characterization is to provide a comprehensive description of Ecosystem Features. These descriptions can include collection of new ecological and/or socioeconomic data (including TEK), should consider draft monitoring metrics (see Appendix 1), and can extend beyond the draft metrics. All proposals should include the rationale for selected metrics. The description of Ecosystem Features should consider habitats, species assemblages, trophic structure, key ecosystem processes, and consumptive and non-consumptive activities (as appropriate).
Proposals should encompass multiple MPAs when possible, and should include sites outside of MPAs. Proposals should include rationale for selected MPAs and reference or control sites that contribute to a region-wide baseline characterization or assessment of initial changes.
Assessment and interpretation of the condition of the Ecosystem Features
The other objective of Baseline Characterization is to assess conditions of Ecosystem Features, which requires historical and contextual information to interpret patterns and trends observed in the data. Historical information includes any ecological and socioeconomic information that documents conditions prior to MPA implementation that can illuminate past trends and can help interpret current conditions. Contextual information, such as oceanographic data (e.g., location and strength of upwelling events; status of oceanographic cycles such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), water quality data and economic data, can help provide an understanding of the drivers and correlates of ecosystem condition.
ASSESSMENT OF INITIAL ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC CHANGES
A proposal submitted to contribute to assessment of initial ecological and socioeconomic changes following MPA implementation should address one or more of the following objectives:
Assessment of initial ecological changes
One objective of assessing initial ecological changes is to describe changes (or lack of changes) observed inside and outside MPAs. Assessments should include interpretation of observed initial ecological changes through incorporation of historical and contextual information to evaluate the extent to which the observed changes may be attributable to MPA implementation.
Assessment of initial effects of MPA implementation on consumptive and non-consumptive user groups
This includes identification and measurement of short-term net benefits or costs of MPA implementation to consumptive and non-consumptive user groups likely to be most affected by the establishment of the MPAs, paying careful attention to controlling for potential confounding factors. A project need not consider all user groups but the proposed research should employ quantitative methods and address how the project outputs and data may be used in a broader analysis that considers the net benefits or costs across multiple user groups. Assessments should also analyze and describe the degree to which any observed changes are attributable to MPA implementation.
INFORMING LONG-TERM MONITORING
When possible, standardized or established methods should be employed to provide a robust foundation for long-term monitoring. In addition, applicants should describe how the proposed approach, methods and analytical tools facilitate implementation of long-term monitoring. Proposals are also encouraged to provide initial evaluation of the draft monitoring metrics (see Appendix 1) and recommendations for refinements or alternatives to these metrics, including recommendations for prioritization among metrics. In addition, though not required, proposals may articulate how the proposed data collection, methods or results may contribute useful information for multiple ocean resource management mandates (e.g., fisheries management, long-term tracking of climate effects on marine ecosystems).
BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS AND INTEGRATING LOCAL EXPERTISE
For selected projects to be as cost-effective as possible and to contribute efficiently to achieving the Baseline Program purposes, partnerships are encouraged to leverage and take best advantage of existing resources (including physical resources such as boats and survey equipment), and existing monitoring programs in the region. Proposals that include partnerships should describe the rationale for the partnership, the intended benefits of the partnership and, if appropriate, how existing data will be used. In addition, proposals that include project partners who are not project leads can choose to document the level of participation or support of partnering organizations (see Sections II-D and II-E).
E. Project Deliverables (top)
Primary Investigators are responsible for the production and delivery of the following project products: 1) data and metadata; 2) annual progress report(s); and 3) a final report.
DATA AND METADATA
Data and associated metadata must be delivered to DFW, OPC, Sea Grant and OST before or as part of the completion of the project. OceanSpaces.org shall serve as the formal vehicle for delivery of all data associated with funded projects, the Data Uploading Tool within OceanSpaces being the specific mode of transmission of all data assets. Final project payment will not be made until data and metadata have been received.
All projects should employ a standardized reporting protocol, which will be developed following project selection with awarded applicants and with guidance from OST. Data deliverables may include still or video images, text reports, databases, spreadsheets, maps and GIS layers. We anticipate that projects may develop multiple data deliverables; each should be clearly identified in the proposal. Sufficient metadata should also be provided to fully describe the data, collection methods and data reporting structure.
Upon delivery to DFW, OPC, Sea Grant, and OST and thereafter, all data and metadata will be available to the public and other researchers in accordance with confidentiality and sensitive information protection practices described below. Investigators, however, will retain the right to publish results before and after project completion. Project data may be used to support additional analyses, and may be included or summarized in subsequent reports and other materials, in print and/or electronically.
Where privacy issues or other sensitivities will or may arise, these must be noted explicitly in project proposals, along with a proposed remedy to enable delivery of data with appropriate accommodations to account for the sensitivity. This may include, for example, delivering data only to DFW and under protection of a signed non-disclosure agreement, or developing a protocol to anonymize observations as needed to enable sharing collected data with researchers and government agencies. Confidentiality is especially important to consider when working with socioeconomic information (i.e., produced through interviews with fishermen), locations of Native American cultural places (i.e., gathered through TEK), and locations of populations of protected or sensitive organisms (i.e., noted during field surveys). Applicants should include a description of their anticipated method for protecting confidential and/or sensitive information, if relevant to their proposed project (see Section II-D).
Note: Project Leader(s) will be required to execute a non-disclosure agreement with DFW for awarded projects that require DFW confidential information (e.g., landings, license information) and/or may be asked to sign a mutually agreed-upon memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding data expectations (e.g., data housing, maintenance, protection) for awarded projects that generate their own confidential information as part of the scope of work. Projects will also be required to accept the Data Policy on OceanSpaces.org upon data delivery.
ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORTS
For projects exceeding 16 months duration, annual progress reports are required at 12-month intervals following the contract start date. Annual progress reports should briefly describe progress towards specified project goals, and provide timelines (progress in meeting milestones) for work completed and remaining. They should also provide updated financial information including budgeted costs and actual expenditures and justifications for variances. Incurred or anticipated budget (positive or negative) variances in excess of 10% of the category (e.g., salaries, supplies, etc.) budgeted amount must be approved by the Sea Grant Office.
Each project is required to produce and deliver a final report to California Sea Grant. Final reports must include the following sections:
- A narrative accounting of the project’s progress towards program purposes and project goals.
- A financial report showing budgeted and actual costs and variances, with explanations of any positive or negative variances of greater than 10% of the budgeted amount.
- For projects including baseline characterization components, a technical report, which should include appropriate descriptions of methods, data summaries, analyses and interpretation to describe, assess and understand implementation conditions. Reports should include explicit reference to the baseline characterization purposes and priorities and the supporting results, analyses and interpretation required to meet each program priority. Reports should also include MPA- or site-level characterizations and a regional assessment.
- For projects including assessment of initial ecological or socioeconomic changes following MPA implementation, a technical report, which should include clear descriptions of methods, data summaries, analyses and interpretation to describe initial ecological changes and/or the short-run net benefits or costs to consumptive and non-consumptive users.
- An Executive Summary, summarizing methods, key findings and conclusions in 1-2 pages of text and, if needed, an additional 1-2 pages of figures. The Executive Summary should be written to be appropriate for broad public release (e.g., posting on OceanSpaces.org, provision to the FGC).
Final reports will be reviewed by Sea Grant, DFW and the Monitoring Enterprise. The sections of final reports consisting of baseline characterization reports and/or reports of initial changes following MPA implementation will also be subject to scientific peer review. Final reports should be revised in accordance with reviewer comments before final submission and acceptance by Sea Grant, in consultation with Baseline Program partners. Final project payments will be made following receipt and acceptance of all deliverables.
Following completion of all projects and receipt and acceptance of all final project reports, a synthesis of major findings will be prepared and a final public summary report will be produced. Project Leaders will be given the opportunity to review a draft of the summary report.
II. Application and Submission Information (top)
A. Download Application Package (top)
The entire application package, including the documents referenced below, is available online through California Sea Grant’s website: http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/
B. Eligibility Information (top)
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS (top)
Individuals associated with institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, commercial organizations, and federal, state, local and tribal governments are all eligible to submit proposals. If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please contact Shauna Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org).
COST-SHARING OR MATCH REQUIREMENT (top)
Projects must include at least a 25% match (cash and/or in-kind) from applicants. In-kind contributions must be documented and auditable. Larger matches or additional cost-sharing arrangements are encouraged and will be taken into consideration when evaluating proposals. (See Section IV-A for more information).
C. Proposal Format (top)
Preliminary proposals are not required. Only full proposals will be considered. Proposals should include all required elements; incomplete proposals may not be accepted.
Full proposals must be submitted using the eSeagrant system (see Section II-F). The number of pages must be in accordance with the page limitation specified under “Required Elements,” Section II-D. All files in the full proposals when printed must measure 8.5” x 11” with an 11 point font preferred (Times Roman/Times New Roman or Helvetica/Arial).
D. Required Elements (top)
A cover sheet template is located on the California Sea Grant website. Please provide all requested information and obtain the required signatures. If you are applying from an academic institution, send your original proposal to your campus research office for local campus approval. If your proposal encompasses more than one campus, please obtain approval from each campus and all required signatures. The completed and signed cover sheet(s) must be converted into a single PDF.
Percentage of time should be shown for the Project Leader and the Co-Project Leader. This should agree with the amount shown on the Sea Grant Project Summary Form and should be converted to "Months of Effort." (Example: 10 percent time=1.2 months of effort.)
The project summary presents a concise description of the proposal research in a form useful to a variety of readers not requiring detailed information. A project summary form is located in eSeagrant (California Sea Grant’s online proposal submission website - see Section II-F). Instructions are available in eSeagrant that should help applicants to accurately complete the form. Please follow them carefully - the project summary is the most widely consulted description of your project.
The project narrative must be submitted as a single PDF file. Proposal format may vary, however proposals should include all the information listed below. The proposal narrative should not exceed 15 pages (excluding references, illustrations, charts, tables, and figures) and should include the following elements:
- Project Title – Project titles should be constructed to provide as much information as possible but must not exceed two lines (approximately 16 words).
- Project Leader(s) and Associated Staff - The roles of the project leader(s) and associated staff should be included.
- Project Goals and Objectives – This section should identify the scope of the proposed project in relation to the Baseline Program purposes and priorities identified above.
- Rationale – The project rationale should articulate the significance of the proposed project in contributing towards the Baseline Program purposes. Proposals that include partnerships should clearly describe the rationale for the partnership and the intended benefits of the partnership.
- Approach to be Used (Plan of Work) – This section should clearly detail and justify the proposed methods and analytical approaches, and should explicitly consider the utility of existing information and the need for new data collection (if proposed). Where projects propose new data collection, a rationale for the proposed temporal and spatial scale of sampling should be provided, including rationale for selected MPAs and reference or control sites. Where existing information will be incorporated to facilitate interpretation of results, these data should be explicitly identified and their use explained. A description of the intended mechanism or analytical framework to provide a regional assessment of the studied Ecosystem Feature(s) should also be included.
- Data Confidentiality Approach (if applicable) – This section should explicitly note privacy issues or other sensitivities arising from proposed methods and describe remedies proposed to enable sharing and delivery of data with appropriate accommodations to account for the sensitivity.
- Outcomes and Deliverables – Project outcomes should be clearly related to the initial project goals, which in turn should be linked to the Baseline Program purposes and priorities. A clear description of the intended project deliverables should be provided, including description of final reports, data and other products, and associated timelines for development and delivery.
- Milestones Chart – Projects may be proposed for any duration within the time period between early 2014 and 2017. A graphical representation of the total project duration and sequence of key steps or tasks over the course of the project, with associated timing, should be provided with clear justification for the duration of each key step or task (see example on Sea Grant website).
- References – List all included references alphabetically following the list format from the Chicago Manual of Style.
BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION
For each budget year, create a new budget worksheet in eSeagrant. Be prepared to enter salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for all personnel associated with the project. Also collect a list of permanent equipment to be acquired through the proposal, along with expected costs for expendable supplies, publication costs, and travel. For specific questions regarding subawards or contracts, please contact Rose Madson at (858) 534-4601 or email@example.com.
All budget items/sections will require justification. Please review the online help in eSeagrant to see what is expected as justification for each section.
A budget form (in Excel) available on California Sea Grant’s website (http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/NorthCoastMPA2014-15.html) may help in planning your budget. However, please remember that your budget submission and justification must be completed using the online form in eSeagrant. Do not submit the Excel worksheet as your final budget (http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/NorthCoastMPA2014-15.html).
Research conducted with OPC funds must limit the indirect cost (F&A; facilities & administrative) rate to 25% or less. However, UC institutions should use a 15% SWB (salaries, wages and benefits) rate per waiver 07R-202.
PARTIAL FUNDING OF SELECTED PROJECTS
Proposals may be selected to receive partial funding (i.e., less than was originally requested in the proposal). Additionally, Project Leaders may be requested to consider changing aspects of their proposals to better contribute to achieving the Baseline Program purposes.
CURRENT AND PENDING SUPPORT
Applicants must provide information on all current and pending support where this is relevant to conducting the proposed project. Using the form provided in eSeagrant, please list other current and pending projects that are associated with investigators and relevant to the work proposed.
Applicants must provide curriculum vitae or resume (for all key personnel: project leaders and co-project leaders) that should include relevant experience and skills. Each CV or resume should not exceed two, single-spaced pages. Each project leader and co-project leader should have an investigator record created in eSeagrant. It is possible that some investigators already have basic information stored in the Sea Grant database. A search by email address may help find those matching records. If no record is found, please fill out a new record. In all cases, please upload a CV/resume through that investigator’s form.
E. Additional Considerations (top)
PROJECT PERMITS AND PERMISSIONS
Project Leaders are responsible for to determine what, if any, permits or permissions are required to carry out the proposed work. Applicants are not required to apply for permits or permissions in advance of submitting proposals. Permitting fees can be included within projects budgets. (Please note that permitting fees paid before awards are issued cannot be reimbursed.)
Project proposals that require the handling of organisms, disturbing or placing sampling equipment on the seafloor, require entry into special closures, or accessing an area via state or county park lands must acquire the appropriate state, local or federal permits. If your proposed project is likely to require state and/or federal permits or other permissions, please note that these can take considerable time to obtain. We encourage applicants to contact DFW with questions related to state permits, such as a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP). An SCP is required to take, collect, capture, mark, or salvage for scientific, educational, and non-commercial propagation purposes, mammals, birds and their nests and eggs, fishes, and invertebrates. For more information about permits that may be required by the DFW, please visit the Collecting and Research Take Permits section of the DFW website: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/research_permit/.
Project proposals that include working with individuals providing information related to TEK may be required to acquire permits and other permissions (e.g., informed consent agreements) from those individuals and from the Tribal Council(s) of affected Tribe(s), and from Institutional Review Board(s). We encourage applicants to contact the Tribes included in the proposal with questions related to permissions and permits that may be required.
Please note that additional permits may be required from other agencies. Applicants are responsible for identifying all permits and permissions required for their proposed projects. For a partial list of websites where more information can be found about permits, please visit the North Coast Baseline Program page on OceanSpaces.org (http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa-baseline-program).
Applicants should also ensure that they have permission from appropriate landowners to access or pass through private land(s). In recognition of the importance of coastal lands to Tribes and Tribal communities within the North Coast region, proposed projects that include sites within tribal lands, or that involve entering such lands to gain access to coastal sites, are strongly encouraged to reach out to and partner with the associated tribe(s) to request any permits and/or permissions required to access such lands.
LETTERS OF SUPPORT FROM PROJECT PARTNERS
Project partners can choose to document their level of participation or support (e.g., use of boats or other equipment, access to non-public databases, dollar amount of financial or in-kind support, etc.). If letters of support are included in the proposal application, please consolidate all letters into one PDF for uploading to eSeagrant.
F. Submission Instructions and Deadlines (top)
Proposals are due in the California Sea Grant office by 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on August 14, 2013. Late proposals will not be accepted. To submit a proposal, applicants must use the eSeagrant system (https://eseagrant.ucsd.edu/RFP/proposals/cpanel_login.php). Project Leaders should register for an eSeagrant account if they do not already have one. The registration process will generate an email with a randomized password. Please use the email entered during the registration process and the password sent in the registration email to log-in eSeagrant. Once logged in successfully, applicants can change the eSeagrant password.
To create a new application, please "choose a new project" and select "NCMPA Baseline Program”. A new page with instructions will appear. To navigate through eSeagrant, please click on the arrows appearing on the right side of the window.
eSeagrant provides a section to upload cover sheet(s), project narratives and support letters, if any. These pages must be converted to PDFs before uploading to eSeagrant. Any support letters must be consolidated into one PDF.
Upon submission of your completed proposal, a confirmation email will be sent, indicating receipt of the proposal package. If a confirmation email is not received within 24 hours, please contact Sea Grant (see below) via telephone ASAP to confirm status of proposal submission.
For questions regarding the eSeagrant system or if you have technical problems with submission, please contact Roberto Chavez at: (858) 534-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are asking each team of proposers to send to us the name and contact information (institutional affiliation, email, and phone number) of 10 potential (non-conflicted) reviewers. Please send this information to email@example.com by Wednesday, August 14, 2013. You are encouraged to use California Sea Grant's web-based form for identifying potential reviewers at
III. Proposal Development Support and Additional Information (top)
A. Bidders Conference (top)
The North Coast MPA Baseline Program Bidders Conference will be held on May 9, 2013 from 4:00-7:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center (Room 203), 921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka, CA. Staff from Sea Grant, OST’s Monitoring Enterprise, and DFW will use this opportunity to discuss more fully the objectives of the program with participants. The conference will be an opportunity for applicants to ask specific questions or request additional information and aims to facilitate partnerships and information exchange among applicants and collaborators, including those involved in existing monitoring programs in the region. This is also an opportunity for applicants to explore the eSeagrant website and the data upload tool on OceanSpaces.org.
All potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. Potential public partners, including fishermen and other citizens interested in taking part in monitoring efforts, are also encouraged to attend to explore potential partnership opportunities. Please RSVP if you plan to attend the bidders conference by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2013 (please use "Bidders Conference RSVP" as the subject line).
Update: May 6, 2013 - Agenda
Update: May 17, 2013 - Overview of the North Coast MPA Baseline Program (presentation 1)
Overview of application requirements, proposal submission and budget requirements
Update: June 7, 2013 - Tips and Clarifications
Summary document and Tips & Clarification will be posted in early June.
B. Additional Activities (top)
The Monitoring Enterprise will host additional events as needed throughout the RFP open period. These activities may include informational webinars, office hours, and informal discussion sessions. To stay informed of upcoming activities, please visit the North Coast MPA Baseline Program page on OceanSpaces.org (http://oceanspaces.org/program/north-coast-mpa-baseline-program).
To bring together all those interested in North Coast MPA monitoring, the Monitoring Enterprise developed a North Coast Monitoring Community page on OceanSpaces (http://oceanspaces.org/organization/north-coast-monitoring-community). This new online group serves as a hub for planning activities and resources, including announcements of upcoming meetings, and as the new, interactive community message board.
For more information and to sign up to receive Monitoring Enterprise North Coast listserv postings, please contact Erin Meyer (email@example.com).
C. Supporting Information (top)
North Coast MPA monitoring planning process (including information on community meetings and other community engagement activities to develop the monitoring metrics in Appendix 1)
California MLPA Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas
North Coast Study Region Regional Profile
North Coast Final Environmental Impact Report (includes detailed descriptions, maps, objectives, and rationale for proposed MPAs)
Final Statement of Reasons for Regulatory Action, including approved regulatory language
Additional background information for the North Coast MLPA planning and regulatory processes
IV. Proposal Review Information (top)
A. Evaluation Criteria (top)
Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:
- Relevance and applicability to the purposes and priorities of the North Coast MPA Baseline
Program Assessment of alignment of project goals with the Baseline Program purposes and priorities, including efficiencies in data collection to address multiple program priorities (see Sections I-B and I-D)
- Scientific/technical merit
Assessment of the conceptual framing and technical approaches proposed to achieve project goals (see Section II-D)
- Partnerships and local expertise
Assessment of whether the proposal takes best advantage of the knowledge and capacity existing within the North Coast region, through demonstrated knowledge, partnerships, collaborations or other mechanisms (see Section I-D)
- Project costs and funding leverage
Assessment of cost-effectiveness, including project cost relative to Baseline Program purposes (see Sections II-B and II-D)
- Qualifications of project lead(s) and demonstrated access to facilities and resources
Assessment of whether the applicants possess the necessary knowledge, experience, training, facilities and resources to complete the project
- Project management experience, expertise, and skills
Assessment of multiple facets of project management, including a proven track record in completing contracts on-time and within budget, experience managing and working in multi-party, multidisciplinary teams, and communication skills. Communication skills include the ability to provide clear and effective communication of project goals, approaches and results to diverse audiences interested in monitoring information.
B. Review Process (top)
Applications must be submitted to the California Sea Grant College Program Office no later than 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on August 14, 2013 in order to be considered. Selection is competitive. Proposals will be subject to a two-step peer review process, led by California Sea Grant, to develop recommendations for project selection and funding. Independent, peer reviews will be sought to provide input into the scientific and technical merit of individual proposals and alignment with the criteria above. A review panel (6-8 additional independent experts) will then be convened to review all proposals, consider the input received from the peer reviews and recommend the projects or project components for funding, and the funding level for each. Both independent peer reviewers and members of the review panel will be anonymous. Verbatim copies of peer reviews, without reviewer names and affiliations, will be sent to applicants. Reviewers will be subject-matter and North Coast region experts selected by Sea Grant, in consultation with staff of OPC, DFW, and the Monitoring Enterprise. Reviewers must not have a known financial interest in the outcome of submitted proposals. Project selection will consider the individual and collective contribution of each project to achieving the Baseline Program purposes. Final funding decisions will be made jointly by staff of Sea Grant, OPC, DFW, and the Monitoring Enterprise. All applicants will be notified of the selection decision in October 2013.
C. Selection Process (top)
The Baseline Program management team shall award in rank order based on the peer review recommendations unless the proposal is justified to be out of rank order based on any of the following criteria: availability of funds, cost-effectiveness, duplication of other projects, program priorities, and applicant’s prior performance.
Applicants may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to award funding. Applications must reflect the total budget necessary to accomplish the project. Applicants will be bound by the percentage of cost sharing reflected in the grant award.
If selected, work plans will be subject to posting on the Sea Grant website.
V. Award Administration (top)
A. Award Notices (top)
August 14, 2013 - Applications due at California Sea Grant College Program
October, 2013 - A member of the Baseline Program management team will notify successful applicants by email shortly after decisions are made
November, 2013 - Funds awarded for selected applicants
Early, 2014 – Selected proposals published on the Sea Grant website
B. Reporting (top)
Refer to “Project Deliverables,” Section I-E, for more information about reporting and data-sharing requirements.
VI. Program Contacts (top)
Questions about the proposal submission requirements or other aspects of the RFP process should be directed to the individuals listed below. Answers to frequently asked questions will be posted on the Sea Grant website. Persons intending to submit proposals in response to this RFP should check the Sea Grant website frequently for any additional information.
A. California Sea Grant (top)
Assistance with overall RFP process and information about the bidders conference
• Shauna Oh, Associate Director, California Sea Grant College Program
Phone: (858) 822-2708
RSVP for the bidders conference
Phone: (858) 534-0577
General Proposal Help (assistance with forms, format and submission)
• Carol Bailey-Sumber, Grants Specialist
Phone: (858) 534-7855
• Rose Madson, Business Office
Phone: (858) 534-4601
• Roberto Chavez , Programmer
Phone: (858) 534-4441
B. MPA Monitoring Enterprise (top)
Assistance with Baseline Program purposes and priorities, and additional information on North Coast MPA monitoring planning
• Erin Meyer, Associate Scientist
Phone: (510) 350-1893
C. Department of Fish and Wildlife (top)
Assistance with DFG programs, priorities, or data
• Adam Frimodig, Environmental Scientist, Marine Region
Phone: (707) 445-5397
Questions related to DFW permitting
• Brian Owens, Environmental Scientist, Marine Region
Phone: (650) 631-6786
D. Ocean Protection Council (top)
The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) was created to help protect, conserve, and maintain healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems and the economies they support. The OPC authorized funds for baseline data collection in the coastal regions of the MLPA process, and disburses these funds to California Sea Grant as necessary to solicit and fund individual projects as part of the Baseline Program. For more information about OPC’s authorization and associated requirements, please contact:
• Clare O’Reilly, Project Manager
Phone: (510) 286-0332