US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
Title: Ecosystem Services Evaluation Decision Research and Development Announcement Type: Initial Announcement
Funding Opportunity Number: W81EWF-24-SOI-0014
Assistance Listing Number: 12.630
Date Issued: 11 January 2024
Key Dates: Phase I announcement will be open to receive statements of interest continuously, until 12 noon Central Time (CT), 09 February 2024, at which point all statements of interest must be received.
If invited to Phase II, full proposal applications will be due at 12 noon Central Time (CT), 11 March 2024.
Estimated Award Ceiling: $1,500,000.00
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,500,000.00 total over 3 years; with $525,000.00 for base year, $525,000.00 for optional year 1 and $450,000.00 for optional year 2; optional years are contingent on Congressional authorization and funding appropriation.
Agency Contact: Kisha M. Craig, Kisha.M.Craig@usace.army.mil
A. Short Description of Funding Opportunity
ERDC seeks applications for developing a user-friendly decision-framework for evaluating ecosystem services of proposed water resource project alternatives and current federally managed lands and reservoirs.
Measuring the value of ecosystem services is a way to assess multiple services or benefits that affect human health and happiness that are generated by ecosystems. Methods appropriate to evaluate ecosystem services for water resource project planning are largely lacking. Additionally, public lands, which also provide current ecosystem services, largely go unassessed and unaccounted for. A comprehensive, user-friendly decision support framework that can be used to estimate the value of ecosystem services from proposed projects or currently managed lands is needed. The proposed research will focus on 1) reviewing and determining metrics that can be used to measure the value of ecosystem services appropriate for water resource projects (i.e., ecosystem restoration) and public lands associated with water resource management (i.e., reservoirs), 2) developing a user-friendly decision support framework via a web-based portal that will estimate ecosystem services, and 3) preform an in-depth assessment of the value of ecosystem services provided by oyster reef restoration in and around the Gulf of Mexico.
C. Program Description/Objective: (brief description of the anticipated work)
This project will establish an interdisciplinary collaboration between USACE and a University partner. This collaboration will develop a decision-framework to measure the value of ecosystem services from current and proposed water resource projects delivered via a web-based portal. This decision support framework will enable planners and managers to enter a limited number of relevant criteria and parameters and receive an estimate for the value of various ecosystem services. Estimation of the value of ecosystem services for proposed projects may be positive or negative depending on proposed changes. Anticipated ecosystem services that will be valued may include: water quality, recreation, harvest, species protection, wetland protection, carbon sequestration, open space, and flood protection.
Successful proposals will also (a) clearly identify question(s) the proposed project will seek to answer (i.e., project technical objectives); (b) clearly describe the tasks and data required to answer those question(s) (i.e., data quality objectives); and (c) describe envisioned project deliverables by task and by year. Proposals that demonstrate intent to maximize use of existing federal and other organizations ecosystem services programs, initiatives and data are encouraged. Successful proposals will identify quantitative and qualitative success criteria for each project task and objective; identification of go/no-go decision points at the end of each year is also encouraged.
This project will:
Findings will be reported to the public through technical reports, technical notes, journal articles, presentations, attendance of In Progress Reviews, as appropriate and needed.
D. Public Benefit
A more robust assessment of the economic, environmental and social benefits of public lands managed in association water resource management is needed in order to make effective decisions regarding their management and operations. Results of this research will support the planning and management decision processes, saving public tax dollars and maximizing the public benefit of these lands and waters.
E. Authorization: 10 USC 4001
F. Legal Requirements
Each Cooperative Agreement awarded under this announcement will be governed by 2 CFR 200, “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”, 2 CFR 1100 Subchapter D—Administrative Requirements Terms and Conditions for Cost-Type Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Nonprofit and Governmental Entities and the DoD research general terms and conditions located at https://www.nre.navy.mil/work-with- us/manage-your-award/manage-grant-award/grants-terms-conditions.
G. Program-Specific Requirements
The following information applies to awards issued under this announcement:
A. Eligible Applicants
This opportunity is restricted to non-federal partners of the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU).
Disclosures of current and pending support made in this application may render an applicant ineligible for funding. Prior to award and throughout the period of performance, ERDC may continue to request updated continuing and pending support information, which will be reviewed and may result in discontinuation of funding.
Religious organizations are entitled to compete on equal footing with secular organizations for Federal financial assistance as described in E.O. 13798, “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”
B. Cost Sharing or Matching
This action will be 100% funded by USACE.
C. Conflict of Interest
You and your organization must disclose any potential or actual scientific or nonscientific conflict of interest(s) to us. You must also disclose any potential or actual conflict(s) of interest for any identified sub recipient you include in your application. We may have to ask you more questions if we need more information.
At our discretion, we may ask you for a conflict-of-interest mitigation plan after you submit your application. Your plan is subject to our approval.
2. Scientific Conflict of Interest
Scientific collaborations on research and development projects are generally the result of close collaboration prior to the submission of applications for support. Accordingly, these collaborations should be considered when considering potential conflicts of interest. The potential conflict is mitigated by the disclosure of these collaborations, and the list of current and pending support you provide for senior and key researchers. Therefore, you must include in your list of current and pending support all collaborators, even if they did not formally provide support.
You must include the Acknowledgment of Support and Disclaimer on all materials created or produced under our awards. This language may be found in the Terms and Conditions included in the award documents.
E. Certifications, representations, and assurances
A. Phase I: Submission of Statement of Interest (SOI)
Note: A proposed budget is NOT requested at this time.
The administrative point of contact is Kisha M. Craig, Kisha.M.Craig@usace.army.mil
Based on a review of the Statements of Interest received, an investigator or investigators will be invited to move to Phase II which is to prepare a full study proposal. Statements will be evaluated based on the investigator’s specific experience and capabilities in areas related to the study requirements.
B. Phase II (if invited): Submission of Full Application Package
The complete funding opportunity announcement, application forms, and instructions are available for download at Grants.gov.
The administrative point of contact is Kisha M. Craig, Kisha.M.Craig@usace.army.mil.
All mandatory forms and any applicable optional forms must be completed in accordance with the instructions on the forms and the additional instructions below.
A data management plan is a document that describes which data generated through the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved, how it will be done, or explains why data sharing or preservation is not possible or scientifically appropriate, or why the costs of sharing or preservation are incommensurate with the value of doing so. See also: DoD Instruction 3200.12. https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/320012p.pdf?ver=2019-04-30-073122-220
Data management plans are generally 2 pages in length, and must include the following considerations:
Choose ONE of the following submission methods:
Applicants are not required to submit proposals through Grants.gov. However, if applications are submitted via the internet, applicants are responsible for ensuring that their Grants.gov proposal submission is received in its entirety.
All applicants choosing to use Grants.gov to submit proposals must be registered and have and account with Grants.gov. It may take up to three weeks to complete Grants.gov registration. For more information on registration, go to https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html.
Organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and active System for Award Management (SAM) registration to apply for Federal financial assistance.
C. Application Withdrawal:
An applicant may withdraw an application at any time before award by written notice via email. Notice of withdrawal shall be sent to the agency point of contact identified in this announcement, and are effective upon receipt.
D. Funding Restrictions
Per 2 CFR § 200.216, funds may not be used to procure telecommunications equipment or video surveillance services or equipment produced by
Funds from an award may not be used to attain fee or profit.
A. Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria, listed in descending order of importance:
B. Review and Selection Process:
Each application will be reviewed based on the selection criteria above rather than against other applications submitted under this Announcement.
Based on the Peer or Scientific Review, proposals will be categorized as Selectable or Not Selectable (see definitions below). The selection of the source for award will be based on the Peer or Scientific Review, as well as importance to agency programs and funding availability.
Note: The Government reserves the right to award some, all, or none of proposals. When the Government elects to award only a part of a proposal, the selected part may be categorized as Selectable, though the proposal as a whole may not merit such a categorization.
In addition to the technical/program review, the DoD performs a budget review and a risk review as directed by 2 CFR 200.206, including a review of the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). Applicants may review information in FAPIIS and comment on any information entered into that system. Comments made by applicants will be taken into account in addition to other information in considering applicants’ integrity, business ethics, and record of performance.
The notification e-mail regarding a selection is not authorization to commit or expend DoD funds. A DoD grants officer is the only person authorized to obligate and approve the use of federal funds. This authorization is in the form of a signed Notice of Award. Applicants whose applications are recommended will be contacted by a DoD grants officer to discuss any additional information required for award. This may include representations and certifications, revised budgets or budget explanations, or other information as applicable to the proposed award. The award start date will be determined at this time.
The terms and conditions of the award will provide the specifics on how to submit the reports and any required sections for those reports.
In accordance with 2 CFR 200.328 (Financial Reporting) and 2 CFR 200.329 (Program Performance)
Awardees will need to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR 170: Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information.
Questions should be directed to:
Kisha M. Craig
Timothy D. Black
Questions regarding Grants.gov should be directed to: the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at email@example.com.
The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement. Only grants officers can bind the Federal government to the expenditure of fund.
Applicants are advised to monitor Grants.gov for potential amendments to this Notice of Funding Opportunity. You can also elect to be automatically notified by Grants.gov whenever there is a change to the opportunity.
Applications must not include any information that has been identified as classified national security information under authorities established in Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information.