On behalf of the Envision the Choptank partnership, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks to contract an individual or firm to serve as a Technical Assistance Circuit Rider for local governments in the Choptank River watershed. Envision the Choptank is a network of nonprofits, local governments, community groups, and state and federal agencies working collaboratively to improve water quality and habitat in a way that best meets the needs of surrounding communities. With the support of the partnership, the Technical Assistance Circuit Rider will work closely with towns and counties to identify and assess potential green infrastructure projects, carry out the prep work needed to advance projects prior to pursuing funding opportunities, and develop grant proposals that enable priority projects to be installed. Currently, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has limited funding to advance the work described in this Request for Proposals by November 30, 2022. There is potential for additional funding to become available within this timeframe and to extend this work for additional years.
SUMMARY OF NEED:
As the 2025 deadline for action on Chesapeake Bay restoration nears, stormwater continues to be one of the few pollution sources going in the wrong direction. Impacts from climate change are expected to exacerbate this trend. Not only are greater amounts of harmful sediment and nutrients forecasted to enter our local waterways, but flooding to communities – causing loss of property, damage to homes, and detrimental health impacts – is also likely to increase. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, scientists predict the Choptank region will see the largest increases in precipitation through more intense and frequent storm events, suggesting that greater investment in the implementation and management of green and gray infrastructure solutions is needed to meet the growing challenge.
Human and financial capital required to plan for, install, and manage local stormwater and flooding control practices is in short supply. Interviews and focus groups with practitioners led the Envision the Choptank collaborative to list local governments’ capacity challenges as one of six primary barriers to improving and maintaining water quality and habitat in the Choptank watershed. Recommendations from EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program affirm that more human and financial resources are required to achieve local-level Bay restoration targets. Envision the Choptank therefore has prioritized strategies in its Common Agenda for the Watershed to fill in gaps in local government technical assistance and work with county and municipal staff to provide tools and information that better support local planning efforts.
In 2019, Envision brought together officials from 8 Choptank watershed local governments (3 counties and 5 towns), various nonprofits, and state and federal agencies to discuss, research, and develop solutions that enhance technical assistance and strengthen local planning. Based in part on lessons learned from a shared services model recently piloted by the Healthy Waters Round Table of Eastern Shore local governments, the group procured resources to invest in a Technical Assistance Circuit Rider for which applicants are now being sought under this request for proposals.
A Technical Assistance Circuit Rider is sought to work with local governments in the Choptank watershed to identify and assess potential restoration projects, write grant proposals to procure funds for the design and implementation of restoration practices, and supply project management to accelerate restoration implementation rates. The Circuit Rider will focus on projects that improve water quality and address community needs, such as flooding challenges.
The Circuit Rider will also interface with Envision the Choptank’s Engaging Disenfranchised Communities workgroup that is focused on engaging communities of color and low-income communities to more equitably share the resources of the restoration movement. The group is currently engaging three communities in developing community-wide restoration plans to address community-identified natural resource challenges, including flooding. The Technical Assistance Circuit Rider will advance restoration projects in these communities and continue to work closely with this workgroup as it expands its efforts.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will provide oversight and management of the contracted individual(s) or firm. Envision’s Working with Local Government’s workgroup, which includes county and municipal staff, NGO partners, and others, will serve as the project’s steering committee, setting goals and helping ensure sufficient progress is made during the project term. Staff representatives from the Choptank watershed’s 3 counties and 5 towns who serve on the workgroup will coordinate directly with the Circuit Rider to ensure the service supplied meets local objectives.
SCOPE OF WORK:
- Identify and assess potential projects. Meet with participating jurisdictions to assess an initial set of potential restoration projects and identify additional candidate projects by reviewing existing local inventories, plans, and capital improvement programs. The Technical Assistance Circuit Rider will assess each project to determine the prep work needed prior to pursuing funding for design and implementation and will work with local governments to prioritize projects based on attributes such as construction and maintenance cost, community benefit, water quality improvements (i.e. nutrient and sediment reductions), and procedural considerations such as permit needs. The assessment should also identify opportunities to install projects of similar types in multiple jurisdictions for implementation efficiency.
- Carry out prep work. The initial set of potential restoration projects mentioned in Item 1 are in different stages of project readiness and therefore require different levels and types of prep work before seeking funds for design and/or implementation. Prep work may include landowner outreach, meeting with local boards, coordinating between multiple local government departments, determining types of restoration practices that are most applicable, and developing initial concepts and cost estimates. The Circuit Rider will carry out these initial steps and/or coordinate with appropriate local government staff and partners to accomplish the work.
- Fundraise for project design and implementation. Identify and recommend potential grant programs and/or other funding sources to pursue for priority projects. This includes connecting with funders to identify good matches, raising the profile of projects among potential supporters, and leveraging emerging opportunities such as resources becoming available through Maryland’s Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021 (HB 991). Look for opportunities to develop collaborative proposals that incorporate projects from multiple jurisdictions. For the chosen top priority projects, work closely with local governments and partners to develop and write grant proposals and applications.
- Supply project and grant management. Where needed, after project funding is secured, work with local governments to facilitate project implementation. This may include procuring resources, managing contracts, and overseeing project delivery as authorized by local governments. Administer and report progress on projects funded by grants and other sources.
- Enhance project implementation efficiency. Explore and advance opportunities to share survey, design, materials, and construction services across jurisdictions. Prioritize options that increase benefits at reduced costs. Consider creative solutions, such as regional BMP opportunity maps, standardized design templates, equipment sharing, and bulk purchasing arrangements. Negotiate and administer delivery of shared services.
- Engage with workgroups. Participate in Envision’s Working with Local Governments and Engaging Disenfranchised Communities workgroup meetings to receive guidance and direction and provide progress updates. The Working with Local Governments workgroup that includes county and municipal staff, NGO partners, and others will serve as the project’s steering committee.
By November 30, 2022, the Technical Assistiance Circuit Rider is expected to have achieved results on each of the items in the Scope of Work. Prep work is expected to be completed for 5-6 projects and grant proposals/funding applications should have been developed for at least 3 projects.
The Circuit Rider will need to attend Working with Local Governments and Engaging Disenfranchised Communities workgroup meetings, likely totaling 5-6 meetings, and will meet individually with local governments to ensure progress meets expecations.
We request that your proposal be delivered electronically to CBF’s Alan Girard email@example.com no later than 5:00pm on Monday March 23, 2022.
It is the intent of CBF to make a selection as soon as possible. Interviews with candidates may be scheduled to facilitate decision-making by the review team. We will notify you once a decision for award of bid is made.
The schedule requires that the selected entity complete the project on or about November 30, 2022. The final project completion date will be assigned when an award is made.
Candidates must demonstrate the following minimum requirements are met to be considered. If you meet more than 75% of these minimum qualifications, we encourage you to apply.
- Experience in environmental sciences, management, planning, public administration, or a related field.
- Robust knowledge of watershed issues and urban non-point source pollution reduction strategies.
- Familiarity with environmental restoration tools and techniques, including planning, design, and implementation of stormwater management, green infrastructure, and climate resiliency projects.
- Experience working with local governments and communities.
- Ability to work with a broad range of stakeholders and personalities.
- Ability to work independently and a passion for working with people and the environment.
- Familiarity with local, state, and federal laws, policies and regulations related to environmental restoration and protection.
- Demonstrated fundraising skills. Success writing, winning, and administering grants.
- The ability to effectively coordinate and manage a complex multi-dimensional project and coordinate diverse individuals and groups.
- Effective time-management skills. Ability to prioritize and handle multiple and simultaneous project tasks.
- Excellent public speaking and written communication abilities.
- Familiarity with Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
- Ability to meet with partners and local governments on Maryland’s Eastern Shore throughout the project period.
- A valid state-issued driver’s license.
A successful applicant may need to provide proof of insurance based on the services or product provided.
CBF actively encourages proposals from Small, Women and Minority Owned (SWAM) Businesses. Please note if you are a Small, Women or Minority Owned Business and if you are certified by the State of Maryland.
FOR FURTHER INFOMRATION OR QUESTIONS:
Alan Girard, Eastern Shore Director
Please provide a written statement responding to the following six prompts. Please also include a signed version of the certification statement below.
- Your name and full contact information and, if applicable, the name and contact information of your company and any other entity comprising your team: [Attach resumes of individuals involved.]
- List and describe your experience carrying out similar work related to this project. If the relevance is not immediately obvious, please describe the relationship as you see it. Feel free to include any reports, communications, or other collaterals that exemplify the quality or content of past projects.
- List three references and their contact information for whom you or your team members have completed work similar to that described in this RFP.
- Detail to the greatest extent possible – your proposed time commitment to carry out this scope of work (e.g. approximate # of hours you/your team anticipates working on the project; part-time vs. full-time, etc.), typical direct out of pocket costs such as travel reimbursement, copies, mailings etc., and any other anticipated expenses that you foresee.
- Additional information, such as you/your team member’s particular experiences, training, technical capacity, and/or academic background(s) that may make you uniquely qualified to fulfill this scope of work.