[REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL]: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR PUBLIC AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT IN THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE SAN JUAN BAY ESTUARY

SUMMARY

The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary (Estuario) is looking to engage a professional consultant(s) in public engagement and facilitation to develop and implement a culturally-competent engagement strategy in both Spanish and English to ensure the public and all stakeholders actively and meaningfully participate and contribute to the development, structure, and content of the revised CCMP. All stakeholder engagement processes must comply with EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent available NEP Funding Guidelines, found at this link: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.epa.gov%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fdocuments%2F2022-07%2FFINAL%2520NEP%2520Funding%2520Guidance%2520FY-20%2520FINAL_October%25202020.docx&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK 

The selected consultant will be expected to work closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant, who will be responsible for leading the revision of the CCMP. For more details, please refer to the RFP: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR 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.
  • Follow EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent available NEP Funding Guidelines. 
  • Collaborate closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant.
  • Collect, organize, and integrate feedback from all partnership stakeholders into each task deliverable.
  • Coordinate any and all meetings with partnership stakeholders, 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 furnish evidence of liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Be in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service, both at the federal and state level.

ABOUT ESTUARIO

The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates the San Juan Bay Estuary Program. The San Juan Bay Estuary Program 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, it 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.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Per Section 320 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), each of the 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs) must have a CCMP to guide the restoration and conservation efforts in their respective study areas. The primary responsibility of each NEP is to coordinate and measure the implementation of its own CCMP in partnership with the community, state, local, and federal governments, and academia. In order to ensure the plans are relevant and effective over time, NEPs must update their CCMP every five years, and revise it every 10. 

Estuario’s CCMP Revision seeks to produce a robust, relevant, and implementable new CCMP that reflects environmental changes in the watershed and lessons learned in its management during the past ten years. The revised CCMP is expected to update, amend and propose new actions, based on current and projected risks and vulnerabilities identified through various Estuario initiatives, including but not limited to:

To facilitate the CCMP Revision process, Estuario developed a Five-Year Strategic Plan in 2022. All actions included in the revised CCMP will need to support the new programmatic vision and integrate the Strategic Plan, as adopted by the Management Conference and the Board of Directors. 

The study area is located in the heart of the San Juan Metropolitan Region and touches 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, flat coastal plain and consists of 83 square miles (215 km2) of land and 14 square miles (36 km2) of water. 

SCOPE OF WORK

Estuario is looking to engage a professional consultant(s), such as a person or a team, to develop and implement a culturally-competent engagement strategy in both Spanish and English to ensure the public and all stakeholders actively and meaningfully participate and contribute to the development, structure, and content of the revised CCMP. All stakeholder engagement processes must comply with EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent available NEP Funding Guidelines, found at this link: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.epa.gov%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fdocuments%2F2022-07%2FFINAL%2520NEP%2520Funding%2520Guidance%2520FY-20%2520FINAL_October%25202020.docx&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK 

The selected consultant will be expected to work closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant, who will be responsible for leading the revision of the CCMP. For more details, please refer to the RFP: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE SAN JUAN BAY ESTUARY.

All stakeholder engagement efforts must be performed by a local team of facilitators in Puerto Rico that are fluent in both Spanish and English. If the applicant is unable to include a local facilitation partner, it must factor a selection process in its task timeline.

At a minimum, Estuario is seeking professional services with:

  • Experience in multi-party and multi-disciplinary facilitation
  • Experience with consensus-based decision-making
  • Experience with proper tracking, reporting, and communication commensurate with public processes
  • Knowledge of public processes, agencies, and organizations involved in estuary management
  • Outstanding communication skills, including culturally-competent stakeholder and community engagement and facilitation skills
  • Native proficiency in Spanish and professional proficiency in reading and writing English
  • Experience in synthesizing technical information in clear, concise language for a general audience 
  • Familiarity with socio-ecologically sustainable and resilient watersheds 

Ultimately, Estuario is looking for a partner that:

  • Shares our vision for a socio-ecologically sustainable and resilient San Juan Bay Estuary and watershed.
  • Enjoys and has significant experience engaging diverse communities and stakeholders in regional planning processes.
  • Ensures the public and all stakeholders actively and meaningfully participate and contribute to the development, structure, and content of the revised CCMP.
  • Facilitates brainstorming solutions, identifying common themes, defining unifying strategies, and establishing priorities.

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.
  • Follow EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent available NEP Funding Guidelines. 
  • Collaborate closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant.
  • Collect, organize, and integrate feedback from all partnership stakeholders into each task deliverable.
  • Coordinate any and all meetings with partnership stakeholders, 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 furnish 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 Engagement Plan for the CCMP Revision — Based on the Consultant’s proposal submission that details the methodology, timeline, tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines that will sustain active and meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout the CCMP Revision process
  2. Progress Tracker — Based on the Stakeholder Engagement Plan, a visually-engaging, clear timeline of the CCMP Revision process that facilitates stakeholders keeping track of the development of the revised CCMP and opportunities to participate
  3. Documentation of all task efforts and activities
  4. Integrated database of all information and assets used for the implementation of this task

All final deliverables for the Stakeholder Engagement Plan for the CCMP Revision and the Progress Tracker must be submitted in both Spanish and English to the Management Conference for its review and approval.

TIMELINE

Issue RFP: Thursday, December 16, 2022

Required Informational Meetings:

Last day to submit questions: Thursday, January 19, 2023

RFP Questions Answered by: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

RFP Submission Deadline: Thursday, January 26, 2023

Interviews: Tuesday, January 31 – Thursday, February 2, 2023

Selection Announcement: Thursday, February 9, 2023

Project Kick-Off Meeting: Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Project Close: Thursday, September 28, 2023

APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. Interested entities must attend one of the required virtual informational meetings below. Meeting dates are as follows and subject to change:
  2. Submit any questions via email to [email protected] on or before Thursday, January 19, 2023. Please include “CCMP Revision RFP Questions” with the applicant’s name in the subject line. All questions and their answers will be posted online for the benefit of all applicants.
  3. Confirm interest in submitting a proposal no later than three days after receipt of answers to RFP questions.
  4. Submit the proposal via email to [email protected] on or before Thursday, January 26, 2023. Please include “CCMP Revision Proposal” with the applicant’s name in the subject line.

The proposal must address the following items:

  1. Applicant Overview
    1. Methodology/philosophy used to implement each task
    2. Qualifications and relevant experience/CV, highlighting those with National Estuary Programs and/or non-profit organizations 
    3. Three references, including a summary of the scope of work performed (Ideally similar organizations/similar scopes)
  2. Proposal
    1. Overview
    2. Methodology
    3. Timeline with tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines to comply with the deliverables and outputs and complete the task by the stated deadline. 
      1. If a proposal suggests a different deadline than the one stated, it must explicitly show why more or less time is needed
    4. Team structure, qualifications, resumes, and time allocation
      1. Indicate whether subcontracting services will be used, and provide the list of services, subcontract information, and qualifications.
      2. The selected consultant will be expected to work closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant, who will be responsible for leading the revision of the CCMP. For more details, please refer to the RFP: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE SAN JUAN BAY ESTUARY.
  3. Metrics and key performance indicators for reporting the success of each task in the CCMP Revision process
  4. Detailed description of budget fees that identifies all expenses including materials/supplies/equipment specifications, quantities, and any other items. 
    1. Include preferred payment method and schedule, as completed performance of the task.
  5. 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 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.

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.

Criteria

The evaluation committee will judge proposals based on whether they are:

  • Comprehensive: Wide in scope or in content.
  • Concise: Brief in form but comprehensive in scope or succinct.
  • Clear: Easily understood and without ambiguity.
  • Thorough: Extremely attentive to accuracy and detail.
  • Quality: Degree of superiority and excellence.

Weight

The evaluation committee will weight each proposal section as follows:

  • Applicant Overview — 20%
    • Methodology/philosophy of the consultant to perform its work
    • Qualifications and relevant experience and history of performance on similar projects, regarding such factors as quality of work, cost control, and ability to meet schedule, highlighting those with National Estuary Programs and/or non-profit organizations 
    • Three references, including a summary of the scope of work performed (Ideally similar organizations/similar scopes)
  • Proposal — 45%
    • Summary
    • Methodology used to implement each task
    • Timeline with tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines to comply with the deliverables and outputs and complete the task by the stated deadline. If a proposal suggests a different deadline than the one stated, it must explicitly show why more or less time is needed.
    • Team structure, qualifications, resumes, and time allocation. Indicate whether subcontracting services will be used, and provide the list of services, subcontract information, and qualifications.

The selected consultant will be expected to work closely with the CCMP Revision project management consultant, who will be responsible for leading the revision of the CCMP. For more details, please refer to the RFP: PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE SAN JUAN BAY ESTUARY.

  • Metrics and key performance indicators for reporting the success of each task in the CCMP Revision process — 10%
  • Detailed description of budget fees that identifies all expenses including materials/supplies/equipment specifications, quantities, and any other items. Include preferred payment method and schedule, as completed performance of the task. If a proposal suggests a different budget than the one stated, it must explicitly show why a higher or lower budget is needed. — 15%
  • Attachments — 10%
    • 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

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.

Clarifications

Read frequently asked questions and answers here.

ADDENDA

February 3, 2023

Addendum No. 1 to Request or Proposal:
PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING SERVICES FOR PUBLIC AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT IN THE REVISION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE SAN JUAN BAY ESTUARY

NOTICE OF BID CANCELLATION

The San Juan Bay Estuary (Estuario) is canceling the above-referenced bid found at the following link:

https://estuario.org/request-for-proposal-professional-consulting-services-for-public-and-stakeholder-engagement-in-the-revision-of-the-comprehensive-conservation-and-management-plan-for-the-san-juan-bay-estuary/. Estuario is considering re-issuing a new request for proposal for this project on March 1, 2023. All firms that submitted a proposal for the Professional Consulting Services for Public and Stakeholder Engagement in the Revision of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the San Juan Bay Estuary will receive an email with the new request once it is published. Estuario sincerely appreciates the time and effort all firms invested in preparing their proposal submissions and apologizes for any inconveniences this notice may cause. For any questions, please contact María Gabriela Huertas Díaz, Stakeholder and Engagement Manager, at [email protected]