First-of-its-Kind Request for Proposal Invites Non-Governmental Participation
In an effort to quicken the pace of habitat restoration in California’s biggest estuary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) invited private companies, non-profit groups and individuals to submit proposals to create wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Through a first-of-its-kind Request for Proposal (RFP), DWR seeks partners to help fulfill its obligations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. At the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, DWR must restore or create 8,000 acres of tidal habitat to benefit Delta smelt and another 800 acres for longfin smelt, plus 17,000 acres to 20,000 acres of seasonal floodplain to benefit juvenile winter-run chinook salmon, spring-run salmon and Central Valley steelhead. Projects to fulfill these obligations also could help meet DWR’s restoration responsibilities under the California Endangered Species Act.
These projects will advance California EcoRestore, a program to fulfill Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s direction to State agencies to begin restoration of at least 30,000 acres in the Delta over the next five years. In addition, the Brown Administration’s five-year Water Action Plan calls for restoration of important ecosystems.
DWR will weigh proposals received through the RFP process and enter into agreements with the proponents of acceptable projects. These may be private companies, non-profit groups, individuals, or a combination of such. Respondents to the RFP must demonstrate control of property desirable for habitat restoration. Proposals will be judged competitively based on factors that include location, cost, site quality, site design, property characteristics and project schedule and readiness. Projects must be completed within five years.
“Our new Request for Proposal will help us harness the power of partnerships in a straightforward, transparent, efficient way,” said Dean Messer, Chief of the DWR Division of Environmental Services and the Fish Restoration Program. “We want to maximize results and get large-scale tidal marsh wetland habitat restoration under way for the sake of native fishes.”
The department is prepared to award contracts worth a total of $42.5 million over the next five years for acceptable proposals. Instructions for downloading the RFP are available here. Proposals must be received by November 30, 2016.