Central Valley Project Improvement Act Habitat Restoration Program Grants for Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022
The Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Habitat Restoration Program (HRP) implements actions intended to protect, restore, and enhance special-status species (excluding fish) and their habitats affected by the CVP, with a special emphasis on federally listed species. The main objectives of the HRP are to: (1) protect and restore native habitats impacted by the CVP, (2) stabilize and improve populations of native species impacted by the CVP, and (3) assist with the recovery of federal and state listed species whose populations have been impacted by the CVP. The HRP funds a variety of actions that improve conditions for species and habitats impacted by the CVP, recognizing that a balanced set of actions is needed to meet program objectives. Emphasis is placed on certain kinds of activities considered critical to species’ protection and recovery. Applications for land protection, habitat restoration, research, and captive propagation and/or reintroduction projects will be considered for funding. (1) Land Protection: Protection of species or existing habitats impacted by the CVP through the purchase of fee title acquisition, conservation easements, and potentially other forms of protection on lands where threats to these lands are significant. At least 50 percent of HRP funds will be targeted towards this category of activity. The HRP cannot fund any protection project which would result in mitigation credits for the award recipient or the landowner. (2) Habitat Restoration: Restoration of CVP impacted habitats where restoration actions would markedly improve conditions for impacted species. The HRP cannot fund any restoration project which would result in mitigation credits for the award recipient or landowner. (3) Research: Research addressing status and habitat needs to facilitate listed species recovery. (4) Captive Propagation and/or Reintroduction: Captive propagation and/or reintroduction of listed species in order to increase numbers of individuals in a population. The objective of this NOFO is to invite eligible applicants to submit applications for projects that benefit federally listed and other special-status species whose habitats and populations have been impacted by operation of the CVP and implementation of the CVPIA. An additional objective is to ensure the award selection process is in compliance with competition requirements related to federal financial agreements, and to ensure public participation in the HRP. Note that prior Funding Opportunity Announcements were posted jointly for the HRP and the associated Central Valley Project Conservation Program. The NOFOs for the two programs are now separated, and that for the Central Valley Project Conservation Program will posted on Grants.gov through a separate announcement. Persons having questions about the process should contact the HRP Managers named in Section G.2. Reclamation and the Service financial assistance may range from $25,000 to $1,000,000 for individually approved projects. Approximately 7 to 10 awards per fiscal year are anticipated, depending on requested funding amounts for selected projects and appropriations. If substantial involvement between Reclamation/Service and the Recipient is anticipated during the performance of a project, the anticipated award instrument would be a cooperative agreement. In support of such an agreement, Reclamation/Service would provide the following: Reclamation/Service shall collaborate and participate with the Recipient in the management of the project and closely oversee the Recipient's activities to ensure that the program objectives are being achieved as per the cooperative agreement. This oversight shall include review, input, and approval at key interim stages of the project as identified in the Recipient’s application. If substantial involvement is not anticipated on the part of Reclamation/Service, the financial assistance instrument will be a grant agreement. Reclamation/Service retains the rights to make awards using either grants or cooperative agreements. The project must demonstrate allowable public benefit for financial assistance agreements. CVPIA 3407(e) states: "Funding to Non-Federal Entities -- If the Secretary determines that the State of California or an agency or subdivision thereof, an Indian tribe, or a non-profit entity concerned with restoration, protection, or enhancement of fish, wildlife, habitat, or environmental values is able to assist in implementing any action authorized by this title in an efficient, timely, and cost effective manner, the Secretary is authorized to provide funding to such entity on such terms and conditions as he deems necessary to assist in implementing the identified action." For an application to be eligible for consideration under this NOFO, the applicant must be one of the types of organizations named above. The HRP has established a Priority Project Area map that delineates the specific area of California within which projects will be considered through this application. Applications for projects will not be considered that fall outside the boundaries of the program project area unless a clear “nexus” (relationship or connection) to the CVP is demonstrated in the application (see Section D.2.2, Page 11, CVP Nexus, for additional information). The Priority Project Area map can be viewed at: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvpcp/map/index.html. The Reclamation Grants Officer, and Reclamation and Service HRP Managers, will determine whether a submitted application and its proposed project are eligible for a financial assistance award. Eligibility is determined by considering, at a minimum, the following: (1) HRP Priority Species. Eligible applications will focus on species with a “High” or “Very High” rating. Applications that focus only on species with a “Low” or “Medium” rating will not be eligible for consideration unless otherwise specifically called for in a Priority Action. A spreadsheet containing CVP priority species designations is available by clicking on the “Priority Species” link on the HRP website at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvpcp/species/index.html. (2) Geographic area. The project area must be located within the HRP Priority Project Area, or otherwise have a clear connection to HRP priorities. These factors are used in determining whether the proposed project has a CVP nexus which is necessary for the project to meet the intent and authorities of the Programs. (3) Conformance with the NOFO.
● Proposals must conform to the goals and objectives of the HRP; successfully address a program Priority Action, and Scoring Criteria; and follow the required format.
● The HRP cannot fund any project that would be used to fulfill a mitigation requirement. (4) Past performance of project applicant. Applications from parties who have received a federal assistance award in the past may be evaluated based on past performance. At a minimum, this would include how well the applicant, as a previous award recipient, complied with requirements for submitting reports and other requirements in a complete and timely manner; communicated and coordinated on past projects between themselves and the awarding agency; complied with the terms and conditions of the previous grant agreement; and whether the award recipient was responsive to requested information in a timely manner. (5) Evidence of willing seller and/or landowner support.
● Applications submitted for Land Protection, Habitat Restoration, Captive Propagation and/or Reintroduction projects, and Research projects to be conducted in the field, should include evidence of willing sellers/landowner support.
● For Land Protection projects, the parcel(s) to be acquired and the willing seller(s) of the parcel(s) should be identified. The fact that a parcel to be acquired has a willing seller(s) should be supported through written confirmation submitted with the proposal. The confirmation does not have to be a formal letter, but it does need to be a type of statement that will convince those evaluating and selecting applications to award that the parcel has a willing seller(s). Funds to be awarded through this NOFO are for the specific parcel(s) identified in the proposal. No replacement lands will be considered should the land identified in the proposal no longer be available for protection. For a conservation easement, successful applicants must submit a draft conservation easement to the HRP Program Managers for review and concurrence prior to conducting the property appraisal.
● For Habitat Restoration, Research, and Captive Propagation and/or Reintroduction, the parcels to be restored or selected for research or captive propagation and/or reintroduction should be identified in the application, and the willing landowner(s) of the parcel(s) identified. That the landowner(s) is willing to allow project activities to take place on his/her property should be supported through written confirmation submitted with the application.
(6) Budget Narrative. Financial assistance will not be provided to any applicant who fails to provide a budget narrative. The narrative should be separate from the budget table. (7) Budget Table and Budget Narrative. A financial assistance award will not be made to any applicant who fails to fully disclose and specify all project costs. See Section D.2.2 for more information. (8) SF-424 Forms. Inclusion of a completed and signed SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance), 424B (Assurances), and Budget Information with the application is mandatory. Applications that do not include the required SF-424 documents may result in the elimination of your proposal from further consideration. The SF-424 documents must be signed by a person legally authorized to commit the applicant to performance of the proposed activity. (9) Listed Species Benefits. For an application to be eligible, the proposed project must provide significant habitat benefits to at least one CVP-impacted federally listed endangered or threatened species, excluding fish. For more information see the discussion on describing federal and state listed species benefits of the proposed project in Section D.2.2. (10) Public Benefit. The proposed project must demonstrate allowable public benefit to be eligible for financial assistance. Applications for following types of projects are not eligible for a financial assistance award through this NOFO: Projects targeted specifically toward benefiting fish. Projects which would result in mitigation credits for the award recipient or the landowner. The project area falls outside the HRP Priority Project Area. Projects for which the award recipient is not current on its award reporting and audit requirements for an existing federal award may not be eligible to enter into a new financial assistance agreement. The length of projects will vary by award, the length of time generally being as requested in the project schedule in the application and as outlined in the scope of the Service and Reclamation financial assistance agreements. The maximum length of award for financial assistance agreements is five years from the date of execution of the award.