The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary, or Estuario, is looking to engage a professional consultant(s) to develop a business plan to establish a company that is certified as a B-Corporation that manages green infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects throughout the island. This company would employ certified Citizen Scientists in the Coastal Resilience module and deploy them to work on ecosystem restoration projects that they identify in collaboration with the local government.
II. ABOUT ESTUARIO
The Corporation for the Conservation of the Estuary of the Bay of San Juan is the not-for-profit entity incorporated in 2005 with fiduciary responsibility for the San Juan Bay Estuary Partnership, or Estuario. The Estuario is responsible for restoring and conserving the quality of the natural waters of the San Juan Bay Estuary and its watershed as a sustainable axis of social and economic development. Established in 1994, we are the only tropical and non-continental location within the National Estuary Program (NEP) under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act. In the mid to late 90s, Estuario’s Management Conference oversaw one of the largest public engagement initiatives ever undertaken in Puerto Rico to develop our Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), required as part of the NEP. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Estuario’s CCMP, and in 2016, its first update. Estuario’s success can be largely attributed to our integrated, multisectoral and community-led approach to restoring water quality. Estuario recognizes that water quality restoration requires making significant investments and coordinated collaboration between stakeholders at all levels and across all sectors for a sustained amount of time, sometimes decades. In order to ensure the effectiveness, longevity, and sustainability of our efforts to restore and conserve water quality, we put communities at the center of our work. Our projects rely heavily on local partnerships.
The Estuario’s study area is located in the heart of the San Juan Metropolitan Region and extends throughout eight municipalities: Toa Baja, Cataño, Bayamón, San Juan, Guaynabo, Carolina, Loíza, and Trujillo Alto. The study area includes the San Juan Bay Estuary system, its related marine ecosystems, and the watershed which extends above a broad and flat coastal plain.
III. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Environmental degradation in the San Juan Bay Estuary ecosystem increases vulnerability of our communities and puts life and property at risk. As a result, the capacity of the ecosystems to protect us against storms, floods, droughts and other natural hazards is drastically reduced. The Citizen Scientists Certification Program for Socio-Ecological Resilience aims to expand the Estuario’s current Citizen Scientists Certification program in order to develop the capacity within our watershed to implement green infrastructure and restoration projects that will restore the capacity of our ecosystem to provide services and strengthen resilience of our communities.
The project has the following objectives:
- Create a professional development program in the implementation of green infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects that will create a local labor force capable of implementing these types of initiatives and promote the development of the green/blue economy.
- Evidence the importance of cost-effectiveness and feasibility of implementing green infrastructure projects and restoration of ecosystems as an axis of economic development, and thus educate the public sector on the opportunities that exist to invest recovery funds in a way that maximizes their impact.
- Extract lessons learned and develop a model that can be replicated in other basins hydrographic offices of Puerto Rico to establish an entity certified as a B-Corporation that manages green infrastructure projects and ecosystem restoration throughout the Island.
The two-year project began in May 2021 and will culminate by May 30, 2023. Thus far, we have certified 150 + Citizen Scientists in the Coastal Resilience module who are collecting data that will help us understand the conditions of our ecosystem.
IV. SCOPE OF WORK
CCSJBE is looking to engage a professional consultant(s), such as a person or a team to extract lessons learned throughout the project and develop a business plan that can be replicated in other watershed basins throughout Puerto Rico to establish an entity certified as a B-Corporation that manages green infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects throughout the Island. This entity would be focused in developing a workforce for the blue/green economy in order to increase the social-ecological resilience of the island. The company would collect data and information that will provide an evaluation of the ecosystem’s conditions and work in collaboration with local government agencies and the Estuario to identify funding based on these conditions and needs, as well as serve as partners to these agencies in the evaluation of proposals. The company will facilitate citizen involvement in these different forums with the goal of increasing social-ecological resiliency of the island.
As part of this process, all consultants will be expected to:
- Coordinate any and all meetings with stakeholders, the public, or Estuario team as necessary.
- Attend any and all necessary meetings with Estuario to prepare and complete all project deliverables.
- Submit regular written reports to Estuario once a month or as requested.
- Provide own assistants, as needed.
- Cover own business and travel expenses and tools, including transportation, computer, computer software and licenses, materials, etc.
- Be able to work from outside the Estuario’s premises and be on-site as needed.
- Be able to provide evidence of liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Be in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service, both at the federal and state level.
The following services should be completed by September 15, 2023:
- Replicable business plan to establish an entity certified as a B-Corporation that manages green infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects throughout the Island and employs certified Citizen Scientists to carry out these projects
Issue RFP: June 11, 2023
Required Informational Meetings: June 28, 2023
RFP Submission Deadline: July 26, 2023
Selection Announcement: August 2, 2023
Submit the proposal via email to [email protected] on or before DATE July 26, 2023. Please include “Business plan for B-Corporation” with the applicant’s name in the subject line.
The proposal must address the following items in a concise yet complete manner:
- Detailed Methodology and/or philosophy used to implement the task
- Identification of all tasks to be completed by the contractor
- Timeline with tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines to comply with the deliverables and outputs and complete the task by the stated deadline.
- Detailed budget that identifies all expenses including materials/supplies/equipment specifications, quantities, and any other items.
- Statement of qualifications and relevant experience/CV, highlighting those with National Estuary Programs and/or non-profit organizations, including all team members qualifications
- Three references, including a summary of the scope of work performed (Ideally similar organizations/similar scopes)
- Copy of the Department of State certification to do business in Puerto Rico (if applicable)
- Certification of compliance with all federal and state laws to conduct business in Puerto Rico (if applicable)
- Certificate of good standing with the Internal Revenue Service
Applicants must comply with all deadlines. No exceptions will be granted. Failure to comply with the requirements of this RFP may result in disqualification.
An evaluation committee composed of members of Estuario will evaluate each proposal received according to the criteria described below.
The consultant will be selected based on responses to this RFP and the required informational meeting. Estuario provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. Minority, women-owned business enterprises and other certified minorities and small businesses are encouraged to apply.
In order of importance, the following criteria will be considered during the evaluation process:
- Comprehensiveness, conciseness, clarity, thoroughness, and professional quality of presentation
- Proposed costs
- Ability to complete project in the stated time period
- Experience and history of performance on similar projects, regarding such factors as quality of work, cost control, and ability to meet schedule.
- The organization and scheduling of the project requirements and contractor accessibility.
- Qualifications of team members, as demonstrated by experience, education, and potential project role.
At a minimum, Estuario is seeking professional services with:
- Proficiency in reading and writing English and Spanish
- Experience in synthesizing technical information in clear, concise language for a general audience
- Familiarity with socio-ecologically sustainable and resilient watersheds
Estuario, in its sole discretion, may change and/or extend the deadlines for the above-mentioned task, and such changes and deadlines will be communicated to all applicants that sent an interest notification.
This RFP does not commit Estuario to award a contract, to defray any costs incurred in the preparation of a Proposal pursuant to this RFP, or to procure or contract for work, and request additional information and/or clarifications.
All proposals submitted in response to this RFP become the property of Estuario and public records, and as such may be subject to public review.
Right to Cancel
Estuario, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to cancel this RFP for any or no reason, in part or in its entirety, including but not limited to: the selection schedule, submittal date, and submittal requirements. If Estuario cancels or revises the RFP, all potential consultants will be notified in writing by Estuario.
Selection announcements, contract awards, and all data provided by Estuario shall be protected from public disclosure. consultants desiring to release information to the public must receive prior written approval from Estuario. Estuario, at its sole discretion, shall determine the release and disclosure of information related to this RFP and any final work products as a result of this.