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Request for Proposals- Invasive Species Projects

Full proposal is available here: FLPRISM_RFP_2020_10Feb2020_final

2020 Request for Proposals

Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM) Subcontract

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals: 03/10/2020

Background and Purpose

The Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (Finger Lakes-PRISM) is a network of partners in 17 counties in the Finger Lakes region of New York that brings together the resources of a diverse range of organizations to prevent, detect, control, and manage invasive species. The cost to control invasive species within the United States is estimated at $137 billion annually (Pimentel et al. 2005). The Finger Lakes-PRISM therefore seeks to share and leverage limited resources within the partnership while building a highly visible program that fosters community awareness and participation in invasive species issues/management and prevention.

The Finger Lakes PRISM, one of eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs) in New York State (NYS) is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund via contract with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The Finger Lakes PRISM is hosted by Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) administered by the NYSDEC and is in its second, five-year contract.

In order to supplement invasive species work that is done among its partners, the Finger Lakes PRISM offers a subcontract opportunity through an RFP process to complete projects that further the goals and priorities of the 2020-21 Finger Lakes PRISM Work Plan (available here). This subcontract under the NYS DEC contract opportunity is offered through HWS, in collaboration with Finger Lakes PRISM, Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the NYSDEC. Subcontract awards are subject to final review and approval by NYS DEC Invasive Species Coordination Unit and the HWS Office of Sponsored Programs. The HWS Office of Sponsored Programs reserves the right to request additional institutional information to assess organizational capacity to administer this subcontract before an award is made. All subcontracts are subject to prime contract terms between NYSDEC and HWS.

Any questions regarding this Request for Proposals should be directed to the Finger Lakes PRISM Coordinator: Hilary R. Mosher, mosher@hws.edu, 315-781-4385

2019/2020 Program Objectives

 The Finger Lakes PRISM is requesting proposals for subcontract projects that serve to advance the mission and goals of the Finger Lakes PRISM in alignment with the Finger Lakes PRISM Strategic Plan goals (available here). Specifically, proposals for projects that address invasive species management activities as described below are encouraged:

  • Early detection of invasive species at sites where species are absent, but likely present in low abundance, and evaluate the threat to conservation targets that include rare species and natural areas of statewide significance
    1. Surveys for invasive species including, but not limited to, Japanese angelica tree, wineberry, porcelain berry, Hydrilla, water lettuce, or other species in under-surveyed areas
  • Control projects that manage early detection species or species whose abundance is regionally low or where feasibility of control is high
  • Invasive species programming to enhance the public awareness of invasive species issues with documented results such as number of events, number of participants engaged, number of people utilizing an invasive species bootbrush stations, number of people trained to collect data on invasive species, etc.
  • Prevention programs focused on an emerging threat such as spotted lanternfly, Japanese angelica tree, or other Tier 1 and Tier 2 species (Tier 1 and 2 species lists available on the fingerlakesinvasives.org website

All projects must be focused on and/or located in the seventeen counties of the Finger Lakes PRISM region (Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins, Tioga, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates).


The project period will be 04/01/2020 – 03/15/2021.

iMapInvasives will be the online, GIS-based data management system used to collect all data as part of the project proposal.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Addresses priority species and landscapes in the Finger Lakes (50%) –Priority species for this project include tier 1 and tier 2 species (tiered species lists available online at the fingerlakesinvasive.org website). Other species in tiers 3, 4, and 5 that pose a legitimate ecological threat, will also be accepted. The scope of work should provide a clear connection to invasive species issues or concerns and clearly demonstrate objectives for 1) early detection 2) control 3) programming to enhance public awareness and 4) prevention within the 17-counties of the Finger Lakes PRISM region
  • Measurable results/outcomes expected (35%) – Include specific units of work to be accomplished (e.g., number of acres surveyed, number of species tracked over the season, use of iMapInvasives to report invasives) and reported as a part of the project. As part of this project, awardees will be required to report directly to iMapInvasives the observation of invasive species as part of survey, control, or post-control objectives. Plans for post-project monitoring should be included in this section.
  • Partnerships (15%) – Projects should identify partners that have demonstrated a commitment (through a letter of support or email) or add value towards project planning and implementation, including landowners where work is planned. All partner recipients of Finger Lakes PRISM funds should be clearly identified in the partner section of submitted applications and should include the name of the organization and funding amount. The work responsibilities or subcontract objectives of partner recipients should be clearly described in the project proposal.


Proposals will be accepted from the following entities for projects focused on and/or located in the 17-county region of the Finger Lakes (Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins, Tioga, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates)

  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Local governmental or public agencies, such as municipalities and regional planning or environmental commissions; and,
  • Educational institutions, including, but not limited to, public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Recipients of funding must be a Finger Lakes PRISM program partner and have signed a Finger Lakes PRISM Invasive Species Warrior “Partner” Pledge (available here)

Awardees must be able to present the results of this project at a Finger Lakes PRISM event such as a working group meeting or full partner meeting or make the results available (poster or slides) for partner organizations.

For projects where invasive species data will be collected, awardees agree to use iMapInvasives.org to map and submit their data.

All awardees must acknowledge that funding was provided from the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as the host for the Finger Lakes PRISM in any marketing materials or presentations.

All applicants must be willing and able to accept the insurance requirements outlined in Appendix A and have the organizational capacity to successfully manage the project and properly administer the subcontract funds. Organizational capacity will be evaluated prior to issuance of subcontracts. Exceptions cannot be made to this requirement.

Minimum Requirements

  • The proposed project must lie entirely within the 17-counties of the Finger Lakes, although the applicant does not need to be housed within the FL-PRISM region.
  • Proposals must be fully implemented and completed during the proposed period of performance.
  • A letter (or e-message) of support from identified supporters must be included in the project proposal. Projects that span ownership types will need concurrence from each relevant entity before a subcontract can be issued.
  • There is no match requirement
  • A progress report will be submitted with the first invoice and progress towards goals of the project must be clearly displayed for review. A second progress report is due 12/31/20. A final report is due upon project completion or no later than 3/31/2021 and must provide updates to project metrics that are in alignment with project expenditures.
  • Successful proposals will directly address elements listed in the evaluation criteria and include key metrics (areas surveys, number of people reaches, etc.). Proposals should include a narrative description of the budget and a map of the project area.


The maximum level of funding will be $25,000 per subcontract, including indirect costs. Smaller funding requests will be accepted and evaluated commensurate with measurable results/outcomes expected. The money for this program comes from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. Funds will be made available upon completion of work and will be issued upon completion of all reports and other deliverables as described in the subcontract. We expect to fund at least three projects through this RFP, but are not obligated to award all funds.

Award decisions are expected to be made in March 2020. Work should be completed no later than 3/15/2021, with final invoices submitted by 3/31/21. This program requires that three reports be provided by the award recipient to the Finger Lakes-PRISM Coordinator. The progress report will be due 60-days after commencing work, one by 12/31/20 and the final report by 3/31/2021.

Cost-Share Requirements

Cost sharing is not required.

Proposal Submission:

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file attachment to FLPRISM@gmail.com by 5pm on or before 03/10/2020. Award recipients are expected to be notified by 3/31/2020.

Proposal Review:

The Steering Committee of the Finger Lakes-PRISM will review and rank the project proposals based on the projects’ merit and the Evaluation Criteria (above), and will make the final decision regarding awards. All awards are subject to final approval by the NYS DEC and HWS Office of Sponsored Programs.

Proposal Format:

Cover Sheet

  1. Project Title
  2. Project Leader (Name, Affiliation, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, Fax, Email)
  3. Collaborator(s) (Name, Affiliation, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, Fax, Email)
  4. Amount Requested
  5. Authorized Institutional Signature –all proposals must be signed by an Institutional Official who is authorized on behalf of the organization to approve the budget and the organization’s participation in the project as proposed in the documentation supplied at the time the proposal is submitted. If the Project Leader is also the Institutional Official, that should be made clear on the signature line. Submissions that do not carry an authorized institutional signature will be rejected without review.

 *Please note: if the applicant will use a separate entity as fiscal agent to administer funds on their behalf, the Cover Sheet must include the authorized signature for that fiscal agent.

  1. Authorized Signature of Fiscal Agent, if applicable

Proposal Description

The project description should be succinct and no longer than four pages (cover sheet, references, letters of support, and budget excluded), single-spaced pages in 12-point Times New Roman font, and should include:

  1. Project summary- briefly summarize the project’s focus and goal, scope of work, nature of collaboration, and significance to the mission of the FL-PRISM
  2. Scope of work (include goals, methods, and reporting)
  3. Timeframe
  4. Personnel and collaboration
  5. Project location: all projects must take place within the 17-county Finger Lakes PRISM region.

Personnel and Partners

Key personnel involved in the project including Director or Principal Investigator. Include a BRIEF (< 2 pages) biographical sketch for the three top personnel. Include name, address, phone, email address for each. If you are working with other partner organizations, state the name of the organization and how the partnership will work (does NOT count towards 4-page project description)

Documentation letters for projects including activities on public or private property

If the proposal is funded, applicants will be required to provide support documentation from municipal governments and/or private property owners if the proposal includes activities on public or private lands within four weeks from the start of the project (not included in the 4-page project description). General project letters of support from references or other partners are not necessary and will not be considered.


Schedule for starting and completing project. Projects must be completed by 3/15/2021. A progress report will be submitted along with the invoice for payment or within 60-days after commencing the project, 12/31/20 and a final report will be due 3/31/2021.

Budget and Justification

Budget should reflect key project milestones, deliverables, and schedules to support invoicing. Categories include the following:

  1. Labor costs: list each person separately. Provide basis for labor cost.
  2. Fringe benefits: provide explanation of how fringe benefits are calculated and documentation for the rate.
  3. Expendable supplies: Provide a list of expendable supplies needed for the project to succeed.
  4. Travel/Transportation: Describe the nature and purpose and amount based on the Federal Government reimbursement rates (available here).
  5. Office support and miscellaneous: Provide breakdown for items needed. General office supplies, telephone, postage, and copying costs are considered indirect costs unless otherwise justified.
  6. Indirect cost: provide Indirect Cost Rate Agreement. Indirect Costs are capped at the equivalent of 20% of Total Direct Costs (TDC) or the applicant’s official negotiated IDC rate, whichever is lower. In the absence of a documented indirect cost rate, the de minimus rate of 10% of TDC should be used.

*NOTE: Any equipment purchased through this subcontract program becomes the property of the State of New York, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, once the program period is over.. Please note that refreshments are not allowable costs, and will not be reimbursed.


Notification and Reporting Requirements

Award recipients are required to submit an initial report 60-days after commencing the project or at the time of first invoice, a progress report on 12/31/2020, and a final project report by 3/31/2021.


Additional Requirements of Successful Applicants

Certificate of Liability Insurance- Subcontract recipients are required to have insurance coverage. Recipients will be required to carry insurance at a level specified by the NYS DEC. *See Appendix A. NYS DEC Insurance Requirements.


Permits- For projects requiring permits and licensing, all necessary permits, and or licenses must be obtained prior to conducting the relevant activity. PRISM Coordinator will confirm that appropriate permits are in place prior to issuance of subcontracts, but they are not required for submission of a proposal.


Documentation of Ownership and Public Interest in Property- Prior to receiving the subcontract award, a successful recipient must be able to document adequate ownership rights in and to the subject property. Alternatively, recipients may provide letters of documentation from municipal, county, or state governments and/or private property owners if the proposal includes activities or access through private lands. All documentation should be sent to the PRISM Coordinator. This documentation is not required at the time of submission of the proposal, but it will be required and reviewed before a subcontract can be issued.


Municipal Endorsement- required if conducting project on municipal property.

Budget and Justification Template

Proposal Budget Template
Project Title:
Period of Performance for Project:
Fringe on salaries                                    –
Total Salaries, Wages + Fringe
Expendable Supplies
Travel                                    –
Office Support and Miscellaneous
 Total Direct Cost                                    –
Indirect Costs – explain calculation  (capped at the equivalent of a maximum of 20% of Total Direct Costs -see note below)                                    –
Total Request to Sponsor                                    –


Note: Proposers should provide a copy of their negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement that is in effect at the time of proposal submission along with their budget request. If the proposer’s rate is less than the equivalent of 20% of TDC, that is the rate that should be used. If it exceeds 20% of TDC, 20% of TDC should be used.  If there is no officially documented Indirect Cost Rate, a de minimus rate of 10% of TDC should be used.

** Food and beverages are unallowable expenses and may not be budgeted. They will not be reimbursed.

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