REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES—ECONOMIC VALUATION STUDY

I.      SUMMARY

 

The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary, Estuario, is looking to engage a professional consultant(s) to conduct an economic valuation study of the San Juan Bay Estuary using the appropriate methodologies. The goal for this contract is to develop a comprehensive, thorough, and concise plan for conducting the economic valuation study, carry out a stakeholder analysis to determine who should take part in the economic valuation studies, and develop an inventory identifying the assets and services in the San Juan Bay Estuary.

 

II.     ABOUT ESTUARIO

 

The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary (CCSJBE) is the not-for-profit entity incorporated in 2005 with fiduciary responsibility for the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, or Estuario. The Estuario is responsible for restoring and conserving the quality of the natural waters of the San Juan Bay Estuary system and its watershed as a sustainable axis of social and economic development. Established in 1994, Estuario is 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 coastal and marine ecosystems, and the watershed which extends above a broad and flat coastal plain.

 

III.    PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

The Estuario will conduct an economic valuation study to determine the current economic value of the San Juan Bay Estuary. The study will incorporate traditional valuation metrics, stakeholder input, and environmental indicators to support Estuario’s restoration and protection goals, enhance community engagement, and inform story-building narratives to better communicate the mission and value of the Estuario. All methods and data used to assess the economic value of San Juan Bay will be produced using open and reproducible workflows. The economic valuation study will provide the Estuario with an additional tool, easy to understand by both the public and the legislative and executive breaches, in its efforts to protect this important ecosystem. Economic valuation is an important and necessary step in decision-making about potential uses that can be given to various ecosystem. In that sense, the valuation study should improve planning processes in the estuary watershed, which is under pressures from urbanization, and from climate change impacts. In addition, this action will help to meet the Estuario’s objective to increase knowledge about and public participation in the assets and services provided by the estuary.

 

In 2017, the City of San Juan’s Urban Resiliency Office partnered with Earth Economics to develop a study on the Natural Capital Benefits of the San Juan Bay Estuary Watershed, to estimate the current natural capital and ecosystem service contribution of the watershed. The baseline assessment would inform San Juan’s resilience strategy by quantifying and valuing the benefits that the region’s ecosystems contribute to local communities and the economy. It was the first study to estimate the dollar value associated with ecosystems within the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed. The Estuario seeks to update the study’s findings with a more precise calculation of the services our estuary provides. In order to conduct the study, the Estuario will need an analysis of stakeholders to determine who should take part in the economic valuation studies, in addition to an inventory identifying and quantifying all the assets and services provided by the San Juan Bay Estuary.

 

 

IV.   SCOPE OF WORK

 

CCSJBE is looking to engage a professional consultant(s), such as a person or a team to conduct an economic valuation study of the San Juan Bay Estuary assets and services, using the appropriate methodologies. The goal for this contract is to develop a comprehensive, thorough, and concise plan for conducting the economic valuation study, carry out a stakeholder analysis to determine who should take part in the economic valuation studies, and develop an inventory identifying the assets and services in the San Juan Bay Estuary.

 

As part of this process, all consultants will be expected to:

 

  • Prepare a final contract timeline based on its proposal submission and incorporate any changes that might be necessary after the kickoff meeting.
  • Coordinate any and all meetings with stakeholders, the public, or the 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.

 

DELIVERABLES

 

The deliverables for this project are:  

  1. Stakeholder analysis in the SJBE to determine who should take part in the economic valuation studies
  2. Inventory that identifies and quantifies all the assets and services provided by the SJBE.
  3. Economic valuation study of the SJBE assets and services
  4. Database for the results of the study and others carried out in the future

 

 

TIMELINE (subject to change)

 

Issue RFP:                                                        February 1, 2023                                  

RFP Submission Deadline:                                 March 15, 2023

Project Start Date on or before:                           April 3, 2023

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Submit the proposal via email to [email protected] on or before March 15, 2023. Please include “Economic Valuation Study” with the applicant’s name in the subject line.

 

The proposal must address the following items in a concise yet complete manner:

 

  1. Applicant Overview:
  1. Statement of qualifications and relevant experience/CV, highlighting those with National Estuary Programs and/or non-profit organizations, including all team members qualifications
  2. Three references, including a summary of the scope of work performed (Ideally similar organizations/similar scopes)
  3. Proposal:
  4. Overview
  5. Detailed Methodology and/or philosophy used to implement the task
  6. Timeline with tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines to comply with the deliverables and outputs
  7. Team structure, qualifications, resumes, and time allocation
  8. Indicate whether subcontracting services will be used, and provide the list of services, subcontract information, and qualifications.
  9. Metrics and key performance indicators
  10. Budget with detailed description of all fees and expenses, with sufficient cost data to conduct a cost analysis. This includes identifying the cost category of each fee/expense (such as personnel-with estimated hours and rate, fringe benefits, travel/per diem, subcontracting, indirect costs, supply, material and equipment costs, etc) along with quantities, specifications, and any other relevant details. The proposal must certify that the information reflects complete, current, and accurate data.

III. Attachments:

  1. Copy of the Department of State certification to do business in Puerto Rico (if applicable)
  2. Certification of compliance with all federal and state laws to conduct business in Puerto Rico (if applicable)
  3. Certificate of good standing

 

Applicants must comply with all deadlines. No exceptions will be granted. Failure to comply with the requirements of this RFP may result in disqualification.

 

Any questions can be directed via email to [email protected] cc/ [email protected]

 

SELECTION PROCESS

 

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.

 

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be considered during the evaluation process:

  1. Comprehensiveness, conciseness, clarity, thoroughness, and professional quality of presentation
  2. Proposed costs
  3. Ability to complete project in the stated time period
  4. Experience and history of performance on similar projects, regarding such factors as quality of work, cost control, and ability to meet schedule.
  5. The organization and scheduling of the project requirements and contractor accessibility.
  6. Qualifications of team members, as demonstrated by experience, education, and potential project role.

 

At a minimum, Estuario is seeking professional services with:

 

  • Experience in natural capital valuation
  • 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

 

 

OTHER CONDITIONS

 

Time Extensions

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.

 

Reservations

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.

 

Public Records

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.

 

Public Information

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.

 

 

Source of Funding: EPA Grant CE99206928