National Park Service

FY2003-FY2004 Servicewide Comprehensive Call

Natural Resource Project Proposal Guidance

 

Funding Source; USGS Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Program

 

NEW Due Date: April 1, 2002 initial project proposal submissions for FY2003-FY2004 arc due to the Washington Office. Check the Documentation and Proposal Submission information below for more information on making submissions to this funding source.

 

Funding Amounts: Four types of projects are addressed by this USGS funding source, subject to the following maximum funding levels:

           Intensive Studies: $85,000/project/year

           Synoptic Studies: $42,500/project/year

     Fixed-Station Monitoring Studies: $42,500/project/year

           Technical Assistance Requests: $10,000/request

Note:           In FY2003, approximately $2.0 million will he available from the US. Geological Survey ‘s Water Resources Division (USGS— WRD) to implement new and continuing NFS identified water quality projects in parks. Project funds arc not transferred to participating parks. Instead parks collaborate with USGS District Of/ices that will conduct the water quality assessments and monitoring studies needed to satisfy park needs. While total project funds remain the same, fewer funds are available for new projects in FY2003 due to a larger obligation for continuing projects. As a result the number of new project proposals accepted in response to the FY2003-FY2004 SCC has been reduced from previous years. A minimum of one fixed-station project and one technical assistance project will be selected for funding by the NPS-USGS work group.

 

Project duration: Not to exceed three years.

 

Number of projects per region: Based on NR-MAP workload. The number of submissions is intended to allow funding for approximately 40% of projects. The region may not adjust the submissions among categories or exceed the total project number.

 

 

 

Recouuneuiled Category Distribution

Region

Total #
Project
Proposals

Intensive/
Synoptic
Studies

Fixed-
Station
Monitoring
Studies

USGS
Technical
Assistance

 

Alaska

3

1

1

1

 

Intermountain

5

2

2

1

 

Midwest

3

1

1

1

 

National Capital

3

1

1

1

 

Northeast

3

1

1

1

 

Pacific West

5

2

2

1

 

Southeast

3

1

1

1

 

TOTALS

25

9

9

7

 


 

Subject of Projects: Projects will be accepted in the four categories below. Projects are encouraged to include a data analysis and interpretation component by USGS to make the information immediately applicable by NPS resource managers and also make specific provisions for park interpreters and the USGS to present the information to the public.

 

1.      Intensive Studies: Relatively large projects of that require in-depth study of park water quality. Designed to characterize known or suspected water quality problems~ these will also focus on understanding causes of contamination and the implications of water quality impairment to aquatic biota. Most intensive studies are strongly issue-driven and oriented towards priority water quality issues confronting the National Park Service.

 

2.      Synoptic Studies: Short-term investigations of water quality from several sites during selected seasonal periods or hydrologic conditions. Designed to focus on park-specific issues that may have broader regional implications. Synoptic studies are intended to provide a quick assessment of aquatic conditions at selected locations and to evaluate the spatial relationships or contributions to those conditions, or to provide baseline data and information where little exists.

 

3.      Fixed-Station Monitoring: Monitoring that documents long-term trends in water quality and determines if management actions are achieving water quality objectives. Fixed-station monitoring will be designed to enable park managers to know the health of nationally significant NPS water bodies, know the effects of remediation actions, and document whether external activities adversely affect park water quality. Generally, fixed—station monitoring will be implemented using a “site rotation” concept.

 

4.      Technical Assistance: USGS technical assistance will consist of evaluating water quality information and issues to assess watershed management, engineering, maintenance or regulatory actions to protect, mitigate or restore park water quality conditions.

 

USGS Coordination: Early in the process of assembling project proposals for submission, parks must contact local USGS offices to inform them of park needs, discuss strategies, and receive assistance in writing or revising project statements and addressing the ranking criteria. One or more USGS professionals normally collaborate with the benefiting park and prepare an original technical proposal for the project. The local USGS District Chief should certify each submission, indicating that the work is feasible and the schedule and costs are appropriate,

Note:          Parks will need a MSWord97tm version of their USGS technical proposal, including author identification and contact information, in order to submit the project in response to the FY2003-FY2004 SCC.

 

REVISED Documentation: Project proposals to this funding source must be submitted no later than April 1, 2002 as Type I Documentation in PMIS.

 

REViSED Criteria, Selection and Approval Process, and Schedule: For this partnership program, an NPS-USGS work group will evaluate the project statements submitted to the national office. The NPS-USGS work group will develop a list of priority projects for each funding category. The NPS Water Resources Division will participate on the work group and will provide assistance to parks during all stages of the process.

 


 

REVISED Proposal Submission:

>    All initial proposals must be complete and regionally approved in PMIS no later than
April 1, 2002.

 

>           Regional offices are responsible for submitting via electronic mail a single standardized MSExceltm Regional Submission Table to the USGS Liaison for this funding source no later than April 1, 2002. This table is to consist of a complete list of initial proposals approved by the regional director for submission in response to the FY2003-FY2004 SCC. The USGS Liaison for the “USGS Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Program” funding source is Barry Long, NPS - Water Resource Division.

Note:           Blank MSExceltm files of the Regional Submission Table may be downloaded from the NPS Intranet FTP website from the

“WASO_ADNRSS/SCC/BLANK_TABLES” folder beginning February I, 2002.

 

>           Regional offices are also responsible for posting a package for use by USGS on the NPS lntranet FTP website’s “WASO_ADNRSS/SCC/USGS-WRD/WQAMP” folder no later than April 1, 2002.

Note:           Each package would Consist of a single MSWord97tm document containing (1) the USGS technical proposal, (2) the NPS project statement, amid (3) responses to all nine natural resource project ranking criteria.

 

REVISED PMIS Funding Source Identification: All proposals submitted for this funding source must identify “USGS Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Program” in the “Preferred Funding Source” field in PMIS.

 

     Parks are responsible for identifying this funding source as the “Eligible Funding Source” in

PMIS.

 

           Regions are responsible for identifying this funding source as the “Preferred Funding Source” in PMIS.

 

Detailed Implementation Plans: For the projects chosen for funding, detailed implementation plans (or scopes of work) must he developed. The implementation plans will he evaluated for technical adequacy by each park and participating USGS District Office, then submitted for approval by the applicable USGS Regional Office. The NPS-USGS work group will then review USGS-approved implementation plans, with the assistance of independent reviewers as appropriate. Implementation plans requiring revision will be returned to the USGS offices and/or parks. Projects will not be initiated until implementation plans have received final approval from the NPS-USGS work group.

 

Proposal Preparation Technical Assistance: Guidance is available from the NPS-WRD and the USGS-WRD in selecting project statements for submission, preparing the overall project proposal submissions, and facilitating coordination with USGS. To obtain assistance or information (including USGS District personnel who can assist your park), please contact Barry Long, NPS-Water Resource Division, via electronic mail or telephone at 970-225-3519, or Mike Focazio, USGS-WRD, via electronic mail (mfocazio@usgs.gov) or telephone at 703-648-6808.

 

Reporting Requirements: Annual Accomplishment Reports and Project Completion Reports are required for projects funded through this funding source. Revised guidance on these requirements is currently in preparation and will be added to this information by mid-January 2002.

 


 

REVISED IV.  Natural Resource Project Ranking Criteria

 

Responses to project ranking criteria arc required for all project proposals specifying the use of Type I documentation. These responses minimally must address eight and, in some instances, all nine of the following criteria. Information on the type of documentation and whether the response includes the ninth criterion are contained in the funding source-specific guidance. Responses to each criterion are limited to no more than 200 words and submissions that exceed this limit will not be accepted.

 

The project ranking criteria include:

 

1.     Significance of the Resource or Issue to the Park: How important is the resource or issue to the park involved, relative to its other resources and issues?

 

2.      Severity of Resource Threat, Problem, or Need(s): What is the potential of the threat, how current or imminent is it, and its extent?

 

3.      Problem Definition and Information Base: Is the problem clearly defined and is the information base sufficient?

 

4.      Technical Soundness: Are the proposed actions, methodologies and procedures the technically most appropriate choices for addressing the stated problem?

 

5.      Problem Resolution: Will the project contribute directly to decisions or actions that, when implemented, will meaningfully resolve the stated problem?

 

6.      Transferability: Flow widely will the project protocols or results be used by others?

 

7.   Cost Effectiveness: Given problem statement and proposed methodology, are cost estimates realistic and commensurate with the results to be produced?

 

8.      Project Support: What resources (including in-kind contributions) are the park, region or other partner(s) willing to commit to this project? A detailed description of total project costs, including contributions is required.

 

9.      Scientific Merit: What is the technical and scientific value of the project?

(Note: This criterion is applicable only to the USGS Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring

Partnership funding source)

 

The project ranking criteria responses arc evaluated by a panel convened to review the project proposals submitted by all the regions to a funding source. At the discretion of the ranking panel chairs, panel members may for each criterion, score projects at the 0, 2 or 4 point level. Criterion #8 has factors for determining scoring at the 0-5 levels.

 

1.        Significance of the Resource or Issue to the Park: How important is the resource or issue to the park involved, relative to its other resources and Issues? (Weighting Factor = X2)

 


5    High significance: resource or issue is one of the most significant in the park, defined as unique, the subject of the enabling legislation, fundamental to this park’s ecosystem and purposes (as opposed to basic resources such as air and water that are fundamental to all parks), high priority in park RMP (is not sufficient in itself), on federal or state lists as endangered or threatened, required by salute, etc. A “5” will generally require several of these criteria to be met.

 

3             Moderate significance: resource or issue is important, but not singularly so for that park.

 

I    Low significance: resource or issue only peripherally related to park’s purposes, uses, or long-term condition.

 

2.   Severity of Resource Threat, Problem, or Need(s): What is the potential of the threat, how current or imminent is it, and its extent? (Weighting Factor = X3)

 

5             Resource threat, problem, Or need is current or imminent, and is extensive, persistent, immediate, complex, likely irreversible, a current or imminent risk to public health or safety, and/or

hazardous. Delaying the project will result in, or continue, significant resource degradation.

 

3             Resource threat, problem, or need is potential or moderate in extent, persistence, and/or complexity. Delay of the proposed project may result in, or continue, limited resource degradation. A potential public health or safety threat exists.

 

1    Resource threat, problem, or need is minor, infrequent, remote, and/or temporary. Immediate action is not necessary to protect resources. Delaying the project will not result in, or continue, significant resource degradation. Public health/safety is not an issue.

 

3.   Problem Definition and Information Base: Is the problem clearly defined and is the Information base sufficient? (Weighting Factor = X2)

 

5             The project statement clearly defines the problem. For a management problem, the information base regarding the problem is well (described and provides a sound foundation for problem resolution. For a problem involving lack of information, the project statement clearly documents why existing information does not provide a sound foundation for problem resolution.

 

3             The project statement describes the problem in general terms. For a management problem, the project statement provides some details about the information but there is nor enough information available to resolve the problem. For a problem involving lack of information, the project statement describes only moderately well what information is needed and why that information is needed.

 

 

1             Problem is poorly defined and/or availability, applicability, or adequacy of the information is nor addressed.

 

4.   Technical Soundness: Are the proposed actions, methodologies and procedures the technically most appropriate choices for addressing the stated problem? (Weighting Factor X3)

 

5             Objectives, and expected outcomes or products arc clearly stated and related to the technical approach; methodologies, procedures, and proposed actions are technically sound and their applicability is well demonstrated; description and status of environmental planning documents/requirements is clearly stated; and time frame is reasonable for using planned technical approach to accomplish project objectives.

 

3             Objectives, and expected outcomes or products appear related to technical approach; methodologies, procedures, and proposed actions have some technical inadequacies or their applicability is not well demonstrated; description and Status of environmental planning documents/requirements is only generally discussed; or project objectives may not he accomplished within planned time frame using proposed technical approach.

 

1    Objectives arc not clearly stated; or methodologies, procedures, and proposed actions are not technically sound and their applicability has not been demonstrated; description and status of environmental planning documents/requirements is inadequately discussed; or project cannot be accomplished within lime frames.


 

5.   Problem Resolution: Will the project contribute directly to decisions or actions that, when implemented, will meaningfully resolve the stated problem? (Weighting Factor = X3)

 

5             The proposed project implements specific management prescriptions that will result in the final resolution of a natural resource issue or threat; or the project develops the information necessary for implementing management actions that will resolve the stated problem. For a management problem no additional actions other than follow-up monitoring are anticipated or for projects involving lack of information no additional information is needed or are required.

 

3             The proposed project will contribute to the future resolution of a natural resource issue or threat by clarifying management issues, articulating techniques or procedures, supporting an inter-agency or regional strategy, etc. Additional studies, management actions, and/or planning will be necessary to completely resolve the stated issue or threat.

 

I    The proposed project is not directly related to the development of management actions to resolve a specific issue or threat, but will contribute to general information about park natural resources.

 

6.   Transferability: How widely will the project protocols or results be used by others? (Weighting Factor = X1)

 

5             The project clearly demonstrate through specific examples how the project’s results will contribute to tangible needs nationally (NPS or other organization), and the project approach includes specific measures to make information about the projects available widely.

 

3             The protocols or results of the project can contribute to tangible needs at several parks or other organizations, and the project approach includes the intention and ability to make the information about the project available to other units or organizations.

 

1             The project’s tangible benefits are limited to the park or the proposal provides no indication to inform others about the project.

 

7.   Cost Effectiveness: Given problem statement and proposed methodology, are cost estimates realistic and commensurate with the results to be produced? (Weighting Factor = X2)

 

5             Costs are realistic, well researched, clearly spelled out and apportioned for each deliverable/product or result, and supported by examples.

 

3             Although costs appear reasonable given stated project objectives, procedures, deliverables, products or results, proposal generally describes how costs were determined and provides only general supportive data.

 

1    Costs appear disproportionately high or low in relation to the stated project objectives, procedures, deliverables, products or results; proposal provides inadequate evidence that costs have been accurately evaluated.


 

8.   Project Support: What resources (including in-kind contributions) are the park, region or other partner(s) willing to commit to this project? A detailed description of total project costs, including contributions Is required. (Weighting Factor XI) (For NRPP projects, if matching non-federal funds contribute at least 10% of the total project Cost the Weighting Factor = X2)

                            5      70% or more of the total project costs covered by park, region or partner(s).

                            4  51% - 69% of’ the total project costs covered by park, region, or partner(s).

                            3  39% - 50% of the total project costs covered by park, region, or partner(s).

                            2  38% - 10% of the total project costs covered by park, region, or partner(s).

                            1    less than 10% of the total project costs covered by park, region, or partner(s).

 

9.   Scientific Merit: What is the technical and scientific value of the project?

NOTE: This criterion is applicable only to the NPS-USGS Geologic Science and Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Partnerships. (Weighting Factor = X3)

 

5             The proposed project exhibits superior scientific merit by applying existing or new techniques to study unique and/or complex park problems, and by providing high quality information to managers and the public in useful and original products.

 

3             The proposed project exhibits scientific merit by applying existing techniques to address park problems, and by providing quality information to park managers and the public.

 

I    The proposed project does not exhibit scientific merit but will provide basic water resource information to park managers and the public.