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GLIN==> RFP posted on behalf of the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Consortium



Dear interested proponents:

If you intend to submit a proposal in response to this RFP,
please forward a letter of intent by July 30, 2001 to allow the
Great Lakes Commission to coordinate proposals as much as
possible to meet the overall goals of our wetlands project.

If you would like an MS Word or pdf version of the RFP, please
see http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/

*****

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Distributed by the Great Lakes Commission on behalf of the Great
Lakes Wetlands Consortium

May 2001

Closing Date: September 4, 2001

All associated information can be found on the Great Lakes
Coastal Wetlands Consortium web site at:
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/

1. SUMMARY

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) invites proposals from
qualified applicants to conduct pilot projects to validate
coastal wetland indicators relating to flora, fauna, landscape
and physical features and to test incorporation of these
indicators within a long-term scientific monitoring strategy for
Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  Up to $300,000 is available to
support this work in a one-year project timeframe.

This request is part of a three-year effort to produce a
monitoring plan and data support system for Great Lakes coastal
wetlands.  The results of the work under this request will be
used to help develop and implement the monitoring plan in the
second and third years. As currently planned, the second year
will build on the work of the first year to create and test
pilot monitoring designs.  Work in the third year will focus on
developing and refining monitoring implementation plans.

The Commission is requesting proposals from institutions,
organizations, and agencies that have the capacity and
experience to conduct rigorous scientific research and analysis
of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  Applicants must also have the
ability to test their research methods across two general
wetland classes (see section 3.1) and wetland indicators. The
deadline for submitting proposals is Tuesday, September 4,
2001.  Work will be conducted between December 3, 2001 and
November 29, 2002.


2. BACKGROUND

Great Lakes coastal wetlands are an integral part of the Great
Lakes ecosystems.  They are indicators for progress in
maintaining a healthier Great Lakes environment.  Currently,
there are individual data sets on well-studied wetlands, yet few
basin-wide data are available for research use and management
applications.  Another identified need is a binational focus, as
data from both U.S. and Canadian constituents are extremely
important in identifying the extent and quality of Great Lakes
coastal wetlands.

Over the last six years, increasing progress has been made
toward developing indicators that will lead to effective
monitoring of coastal wetland quantity and quality.  In 1994, a
seminal paper by the Nature Conservancy’s Great Lakes Program
titled “The Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Great
Lakes Ecosystem: Issues and Opportunities” called attention to
Great Lakes coastal wetlands as “a system distinct to the Great
Lakes.”

Moreover, papers presented at the 1996 and 1998 State of the
Lakes Ecosystem Conferences (SOLEC) reported on the status of
Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  (See
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/solec/98 or
http://www.cciw.ca/solec/intro.html.) Authors concluded that
Great Lakes coastal wetlands are a valuable resource, but that
we currently have no system in place to consistently measure or
monitor the status of coastal wetlands either in terms of
wetlands loss or degradation.

Subsequently, Great Lakes coastal wetland indicators were
identified by a working group of wetland scientists and proposed
at the 1998 SOLEC.  Building upon indicator development, the
Great Lakes Commission in cooperation with the U.S. EPA Great
Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) established the Great
Lakes Coastal Wetland Consortium.  The Consortium consists of
scientists, policy makers, and other parties dedicated to
monitoring the condition of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
Participation in the Consortium was opened to all interested
parties, and to date over 100 individuals have contributed in
some way.  The goal of the Consortium is to develop and
implement a sustainable, long-term basin-wide monitoring plan
for Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  As part of this long-term
goal, the Consortium developed this request for proposals that
provides the information needed for the development of an
effective, functional monitoring plan.


3. SCOPE OF WORK

The goals of the work funded through this request for proposals
include the following:

A) Work with team members and colleagues to coordinate data
collection and analytical methods across sampling sites;
B) Test the variability of indicators within wetland classes
across all the Great Lakes;
C) Test the comparability and usefulness of indicators within
the wetland classes and eliminate redundant indicators;
D) Test the feasibility of applying indicators in a monitoring
plan, including an analysis across six criteria developed by the
Consortium:

1) Cost
2) Measurability
3) Basin-wide applicability or sampling by wetland type
4) Availability of complementary existing research or data
5) Indicator sensitivity to wetland condition changes
6) Ability to set endpoint or attainment levels

3.1 Project Sites
Proposals are sought for designing and testing monitoring
methods within the following geomorphic wetlands
classifications:

 Open Lacustrine Wetlands which includes:
   Open Shoreline
   Open (unrestricted) embayment
   Shallow Sloping Beach

 Protected Embayment Wetlands which includes:
   Protected Embayment
   Sandspit Embayment

Descriptions of these and all other coastal wetland
classifications can be found through the Consortium’s website.
Coastal wetland sites should be selected from the two general
wetland classes (i.e. open lacustrine and protected embayments)
at locations covering as much of the Great Lakes basin as
possible.  Coordinated proposals that address numerous sites
across the basin within both classes will be given preference
(See Technical Note 3.3.1).  If you need assistance in
coordinating with partners for your proposal, contact the Great
Lakes Commission or consult the Consortium contact list at
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/contacts.pdf.

 3.2 Study Indicators and Metrics
The Consortium has pre-selected a set of indicators that need to
be validated for implementation within a long-term monitoring
strategy.  These indicators have been clustered into three major
groups: Flora and Fauna, Physical Characteristics, and Landscape
Measures.  The goal of projects funded under this request is to
collect information to assess all indicators using
specifications listed under each group heading.  Applicants may
propose to address all indicators or a subset of indicators.
However, all selected metrics must be measured at all selected
sites.  Coordinated proposals that address all indicators at
sites across the basin will be given preference (See Technical
Note 3.3.1).

 3.2.1 Flora and Fauna
The bulk of the field work will be conducted on Flora and Fauna
indicators.  The Consortium has specified general metrics to be
measured and general research methods to be employed.
Applicants should describe specific procedures to be used.
Applicants should also include an initial methods coordination
meeting in their workplan, where all field personnel will
coordinate specific elements of research methods.  The following
table presents the Flora and Fauna indicators along with the
metrics to be measured and the general methods to be employed.
Some methods present the range of options to be tested.
Detailed discussion papers can be found for some of these
indicators at:
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/subcommittees/flora-fauna.html.

Table 1.  Flora and Fauna Indicator Specifics (see
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/ for formatted table)

Indicator (with SOLEC ref. number) Metrics Methods
4501 – invertebrate community health  Diversity indices, adult
caddisfly presence/absence and diversity. Sweep nets, activity
traps, blacklighting caddisflies.  Hester-Dendy.  Need
standardized processing.  Need standardized habitat sampling.
Repeat visits.

4502, 4503 – fish community health and DELTs Several diversity
and abundance (fish per meter) measures, incidence rate of
DELTs. Electroshocking along transects, fyke nets

4504 – amphibian diversity Many possible population, diversity,
and abundance measures.
Compare with extensive measures – Species presence, abundance,
and diversity.  From most intensive to most extensive – complete
counts, capture-recapture, larvae sampling, drift fences or
pitfall traps, funnel trapping, visual encounter surveys, Marsh
Monitoring Program (www.bsc-eoc.org/mmpmain.html), audio
surveys.

4507 – bird diversity and abundance Intensive – many population,
diversity, and abundance measures.
Compare with extensive measures – Species presence, abundance,
and diversity. Intensive – territory mapping, strip censuses,
nest counts, site inventories. Extensive – MMP survey

4513 – plant community health From air photos: % dominant
vegetation types, % invasive types; from floristic survey: %
wetland obligate species, % native taxa, FQI; from quantitative
sampling: % cover of invasives in dominant emergent, %
floating/submersed cover of turbidity tolerant taxa, rate of
change in invasive taxa. Air photo compilation and
interpretation, floristic survey, and quantitative sampling

4506 – contaminants Contaminant levels or physical anomalies.
Further work is needed to develop this indicator. External
survey of bullheads, DELTs (deformities, eroded fins, lesions,
and tumors), or other methods that provide useful biological
contamination metrics.

 3.2.2 Physical Characteristics
Information about a number of indicators relating to physical
characteristics of the wetlands and their surrounding
environment is also requested.  Data for metrics within these
indicators should be collected to primarily provide context for
flora and fauna measurements, rather than to be used as separate
indicators of coastal wetland condition.  This will require
collection of historical data from existing monitoring
stations.  These data should be used in analyses to help explain
wetland conditions and standardize conditional measurements
across sites.  Detailed discussion papers on some of these
indicators can be found at
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/subcommittees/physical.html.

Table 2.  Physical Characteristic Indicator Specifics (see
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/ for formatted table)

Indicator (with SOLEC ref. number) Metrics Methods
4861 - water levels Lake levels, wetland water levels,
in/out-flows Data should be obtained from lake gauges.

4516 - sediment flow Suspended sediment unit area yield
(tonnes/km2 of upstream watershed) Metric should be estimated
from gauging stations upstream of wetland.  Alternatives –
sediment core, turbidity measures.

8142 - sediment available for coastal nourishment Sediment
budget, net accumulation/loss Metrics measured from streamflow
and sediment gauging stations at mouths of major tributaries.
Alternatives – geomorphic surveys of barrier bars/islands,
airphoto interpretation. Storms and Ice Possible metrics include
wetland form factor, succession lag times, storm erosion of
shore buffers; ice cover duration, ice thickness, ice jams
Methods vary by metric.

4860 - Phosphorus and total Nitrates Total phosphorus and
nitrates concentrations from May to July for correlation with
other metrics.  Further work is needed to develop this
indicator. Metric calculated from concentration and flow
measures from gauging stations.

 3.2.3 Landscape Measures
The long-term monitoring plan that the Consortium will
eventually develop will also include several landscape-scale
indicators.  These indicators may include some or all of the
following:

-Areal extent of wetlands by type
-Habitat adjacent to wetlands
-Gain in restored wetland area by type
-Land use classes adjacent to wetlands

-Land use classes in watershed
-Extent of upstream channelization
-Proximity to navigable channels
-Proximity to recreational boating activity

As part of this request, proponents are asked to collect
landscape-level data only on or around sites selected for field
data collection under other portions of this RFP.  It is not
expected that a basinwide analysis of the above indicators be
conducted.  However, it is expected that proposals will include
an analysis of the quality, applicability and usefulness of
available landscape-level data to conduct future analyses of the
above indicators.  It is also expected that historical data be
analyzed from different time periods and a change analysis be
conducted on some or all of the indicators.  The Consortium’s
website lists or links to several sets of data that it has
collected.  Proponents are encouraged to use those sets or
collect data sets of their own for analysis.  All data under
this section must be submitted in an acceptable GIS format.

3.3 Technical Notes
3.3.1 A three-month proposal preparation period is built into
this request for the purposes of coordinating integrated
research teams and setting up comparative research approaches.
Proposals that include participation from federal, state,
provincial and tribal agencies will be given preference.  (See
the Consortium contact list at
http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/ for references).
Further preference will be given to proposals that include
partners or experts from state agencies throughout the basin.
Many of such agencies are responsible for assessing and
reporting ecosystem condition, and their input would be valued.
A list of contacts can be found on the project website.

3.3.2 In the event that no proposal satisfactorily addresses all
indicators across enough sites, the Great Lakes Commission and
U.S. EPA reserve the right to request that separate proponents
combine their proposals into a coordinated effort.

3.3.3 All projects must have a sound statistical design for data
analysis.  If funded, recipients will have 30 days to submit a
Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).  Details on completing
these plans can be obtained through the U.S. EPA website at:
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/fund/#Project Requirements.

3.3.4 Information and data gathered must include accurate
positional information.  Field data must be accompanied by
global positioning system (GPS) readings.

3.3.5 A meeting to coordinate data collection and methodological
elements may be required of all funded participants.  This
meeting should be included in your proposal.

3.3.6 At the conclusion of the project, all data collected must
be submitted in electronic format to the Great Lakes Commission
and U.S. EPA.  Grant recipients may retain the right of first
publication of study results.

3.3.7 Proposals should make every effort to avoid duplicating
work that is being conducted concurrent with this project.
While avoiding duplication, coordination with these efforts is
encouraged.  Projects to pay special attention to are: 1) an
U.S. EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant project titled
“Development of Environmental Indicators of Condition,
Integrity, and Sustainability in the Coastal Regions of the U.S.
Great Lakes Basin” (see
http://es.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/grants/00/envind/niemi.html),
2) the evaluation of nearshore wetlands under the Regional
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP) (contact
the Principal Investigator Thomas Simon at
thomas_simon@fws.gov), and 3) the Marsh Monitoring Program
(http://www.bsc-eoc.org/mmpmain.html).


 4. FUNDING AVAILABLE

Approximately $300,000 is available to fund pilot studies in the
first year of this three-year project.  The allocation of these
funds to different applicants will vary depending upon the level
of effort required for each research component and the overall
pilot study. A 10% match is required, which may consist of
in-kind or cash contributions.


5. ELIGIBILITY

Eligible applicants include institutions, organizations, and
agencies that have the capacity and experience to conduct
rigorous scientific research and analysis of Great Lakes coastal
wetlands.  Applicants must also have the ability to test their
research methods across several types of wetlands and wetland
indicators, and must work cooperatively with similar ongoing
efforts.


6. PROPOSAL FORMAT/GUIDELINES

 6.1 Applicant Information: Name, address, phone and fax number
of applicant, and primary contact (name, phone and email
address).

6.2 Applicant Background: Brief description of the applicant
(e.g., type of organization, nonprofit status, etc.)

6.3 Project Title

6.4 Project Narrative/Workplan: Description which provides a
detailed account of your project elements, how they address the
expectations and criteria listed in this request and who will be
responsible for completion of each project element.

6.5 Project Team: Names and professional qualifications of the
individuals who will conduct the work and what role they will
have in the project.

6.6 Project Schedule/Timeline: Indicate in months when the
workplan tasks will be completed, either in narrative form or in
a chart format.

6.7 Project Budget: Use the attached budget sheet to itemize
project costs. Indirect costs are limited to 30 percent of
salaries and benefits.  Please indicate your 10 percent match in
a separate column on your budget sheet.

6.8 Other Funding: Identify other sources of funds that will
support the project.


 7. PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

Proposals will be evaluated by the review team using the
following criteria:
 -Alignment of the project to the expectations cited previously;

-Scientific and technical rigor of the project design;
-Creativity of the proposed project and the appropriateness of
the plans proposed;
-Technical and research qualifications of applicants related to
wetlands monitoring and related issues;
-Ability and willingness of applicant to work cooperatively with
colleagues and other project stakeholders including state,
provincial, and tribal agencies;
-Applicant’s demonstrated awareness of past and current related
projects - avoiding redundancies and building upon existing
work;
-Availability and adequacy of resources, facilities, and
equipment needed for project; and
-Adequacy and reasonableness of the proposed budget.


 8. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION AND POINT OF CONTACT

Proposals must be received by the Great Lakes Commission no
later than Tuesday, September 4, 2001.

The proposal should be submitted as an attachment to an email
sent to juliew@glc.org.  The document should be formatted as
either a Microsoft Word or Word Perfect file.

The point of contact for this request for proposals is Julie
Wagemakers, Program Manager, Great Lakes Commission,
734-665-9135, juliew@glc.org.


9. SCHEDULE OF KEY DATES

June 1, 2001:  Request for Proposals released
September 4, 2001: Deadline for submitting proposals to the
Great Lakes Commission
November 2, 2001: Announcement of funding decisions
December 3, 2001: Deadline for submitting QAPP and initiation of
project activities
February 28, 2002: Quarterly update due
May 31, 2002:  Semi-annual progress report due
August 30, 2002:  Quarterly update due
November 29, 2002: Final report due and conclusion of project
activities (Note: All data must be submitted in electronic
format.)


10. FUNDING DISBURSEMENT

Funds will be disbursed by the Great Lakes Commission upon
receipt of reports or quarterly invoices.


 11. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Background information on the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands
Consortium (including member contact information) and all
aspects related to the development of this request is available
online at www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands. Other information
regarding Great Lakes wetlands is available at
www.great-lakes.net/envt/air-land/wetlands.htm.

 Attachment 1 (see http://www.glc.org/monitoring/wetlands/ for
formatted table)

Sample Budget Sheet

Category GLC  Match Total
1. Personnel/Salaries $ $ $
2. Benefits
3. Travel
  a) Staff
  b) Other travel
4.  Equipment
5. Office Supplies
6. Phone
7. Postage
8. Subcontracts
9. Indirect Cost Recovery (not to exceed 30% of salary and
benefits)
10. Total




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