The deadline for this request for proposals has been extended from May 16, 2023 to June 30, 2023. For more details on timeline changes, please refer below to section TIMELINE. No other details about this request for proposal have changed.
The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary (Estuario) is looking to engage a professional consultant to lead and carry out a revision of its CCMP, in compliance with EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the relevant 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
As part of this process, all consultants will be expected to:
- Carry out the Estuario’s CCMP Revision in compliance with EPA CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent NEP Funding Guidelines.
- Carry out a robust stakeholder engagement process for the CCMP Revision that is designed and implemented by a local Puerto Rico-based engagement facilitator.
- 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/ 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.
The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary is the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates the San Juan Bay Estuary, also known as the 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, the San Juan Bay Estuary system is the only tropical and non-continental location within the National Estuary Program (NEP), established 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 Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (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 state, local, and federal governments, the private sector, the community, and academia. In order to ensure the plans are relevant and effective over time, NEPs must update their CCMP at least every five years, and revise it at least every 10 years.
Estuario’s CCMP Revision seeks to produce a robust and science-based revised 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:
- Vulnerability Assessment Report post-Hurricane María 2019
- Blue/Green Infrastructure Master Plan for Stormwater Management (in progress)
- Multijurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (in progress)
- Illicit Discharges Detection and Elimination Project (in progress)
- Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2015
- CCMP Update 2016
- Other studies that have been conducted to compile and analyze existing data related to the SJBE, such as the “San Juan Bay Estuary: Research History and Opportunities” study (available upon request)
The current 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 ecosystems, and the watershed which extends above a broad and flat coastal plain.
SCOPE OF WORK
Estuario is looking to engage a professional consultant to lead and carry out the revision of its CCMP, in compliance with EPA’s CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the relevant 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 consultant will be responsible for overseeing and executing the entire revision process, including but not limited to:
- Preparing and executing a CCMP Revision project plan.
- Carry out a robust stakeholder engagement process for the CCMP Revision that is designed and implemented by a local Puerto Rico-based engagement facilitator.
- Reporting progress and compliance with metrics and key performance indicators to the Estuario’s Management Conference.
- Designing the final publication for print and digital consumption, including all art, graphics, illustrations, information charts, etc.
Estuario intends its CCMP to be a living document and therefore, expects it will be published in various formats to facilitate sharing, use, and collaboration amongst all stakeholders. Ideally, the final deliverable provides an engaging coffee table book-like experience in both digital and print form. Options include, but are not limited to:
- Bound book
- Summary pamphlets by audience (community, businesses, municipalities, agencies, etc)
- Interactive virtual dashboard available on the Estuario website
Estuario’s expectation for the final CCMP and supporting documents are visually engaging documents produced through a process that:
- Complies with EPA’s most-recent CCMP Revision Guidelines as per the most recent available NEP Funding Guidelines.
- Bases actions and strategies on the latest reliable scientific data.
- Includes a robust stakeholder engagement process carried out by culturally competent local facilitator that ensures the public and all stakeholders meaningfully participate and contribute to the development and content of the revised CCMP.
- Presents Estuario as a catalyst and facilitator to restore and maintain clean water to support thriving tropical ecosystems, healthy communities, and a vibrant economy in the San Juan Bay estuary and its urbanized watershed.
- Supports effective collaboration between partnership stakeholders for CCMP implementation.
At a minimum, Estuario is seeking professional consultants with:
- Experience in multi-party facilitation
- Experience with consensus-based and science-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
- Strong research and writing skills
- Proficiency in reading and writing English and Spanish
- Experience in synthesizing technical information in clear, concise language for a general audience
- Familiarity with social-ecological and resilient watersheds
Ultimately, Estuario is looking for a partner that:
- Shares our vision for a social-ecological and resilient San Juan Bay Estuary and watershed.
- Enjoys and has significant experience engaging diverse communities and stakeholders in regional planning processes.
- Leads us step by step through the CCMP revision process, putting pen to paper to partnership stakeholder discussions to craft an ambitious yet feasible CCMP.
- Helps us assess CCMP progress and accomplishments to extract lessons learned and identify challenges and opportunities for advancing our vision and mission throughout the region.
- Facilitates brainstorming solutions, identifying common themes, defining unifying strategies, and establishing priorities.
- Translates the aforementioned information into an integrated, comprehensive action plan with specific goals, objectives, milestones, tasks, deadlines, etc. to begin implementation on October 1, 2027
The deliverables for this project are:
- Revised Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the San Juan Bay Estuary delivered in the following formats:
- A detailed fully revised CCMP for the «implementer audience”
- A summary CCMP that can be shared with the general public, community, and presented to the Management Conference and the Board
- Revised CCMP Supporting Plans and Strategies:
- Monitoring Plan
- Finance Strategy
- Habitat Protection and Restoration Strategy
- Communications and Outreach Strategy
- Documentation of all task efforts and activities.
- Landing page that includes an integrated database of all information and assets used for the implementation of this task.
These supporting plans and strategies can be included as a separate document or integrated as a chapter in the Revised CCMP. If developed as a separate document, this deliverable must be completed within 3 years of the final Revised CCMP.
All final deliverables must be submitted in both Spanish and English for approval to the Management Conference and the Board of Directors for review and approval.
- Issue RFP: Tuesday, March 21, 2023
- Extended last day to submit questions: Monday, June 26, 2023
- Extended RFP Questions Answered by: Wednesday, June 28, 2023
- Extended RFP Submission Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2023
- Interviews with staff: Tuesday, July 11, 2023
- Interviews with the Selection Committee: Tuesday, July 18, 2023
- Selection announcement: Thursday, July 20, 2023
- Project Kick-Off Meeting: Tuesday, August 1, 2023
- Project Close: Revised CCMP no later than September 2026
- Supporting Plans and Strategies no later than September 2029, if not included in the Revised CCMP
- If needed, schedule a call to meet with the Estuario team by Monday, June 26, 2023 to discuss the opportunity and address any questions.
- Submit any questions via email to [email protected] on or before Monday, June 26, 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.
- Confirm interest by Wednesday, June 28, 2023 in submitting an application.
- Submit the proposal via email to [email protected] on or before Friday, June 30, 2023. Please include “CCMP Revision Proposal” with the applicant’s name in the subject line.
The proposal must address the following items:
1.1 Applicant overview of qualifications and relevant experience/CV, highlighting those with National Estuary Programs and/or non-profit organizations
1.2 Summary of the proposal
1.3 Methodology and approach to leading the revision process from beginning to end
1.4 Stakeholder engagement strategy for ensuring active and significant participation from all stakeholder groups throughout the revision process.
- The strategy must be implemented by a local Puerto Rico-based participation facilitator in Spanish.
1.5 Project timeline with tasks, meetings, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines to complete all deliverables 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
1.6 Team structure, qualifications, resumes, and time allocation
- Clearly identify the main point of contact with Estuario
- Clearly indicate whether subcontracting services will be used, and provide the list of services, subcontract information, and qualifications.
2. Metrics and key performance indicators for tracking the progress of each task in the CCMP Revision process
3. Budget with a detailed description of all fees and expenses that provides sufficient cost data to conduct a cost analysis.
- 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.
- Include preferred payment method and schedule.
4. Three references, including a summary of the scope of work performed (Ideally similar organizations/similar scopes)
5.1 Copy of the Department of State certification to do business in Puerto Rico (if operating from Puerto Rico)
5.2 Certificate of Good Standing issued by relevant state agency
5.3 Confirmation that it may provide insurance policy documentation if selected
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’s Management Conference and its leadership will evaluate each proposal received according to the criteria described below.
The consultant will be selected based solely 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.
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.
The evaluation committee will weight each proposal section as follows:
- Proposal — 65%
- Metrics and key performance indicators for reporting the success of each task in the CCMP Revision process — 10%
- Local Stakeholder Engagement Strategy – 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. — 10%
- Attachments — 5%
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.