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Notice of Funding Availability - Watershed Protection Incentives and Ambassador Program

Friday, October 2, 2015

Grants for the
Watershed Protection Incentives and Ambassador Program

The Department of Energy and Environment (“DOEE”) is seeking eligible entities, as defined below, to plant trees, install conservation landscaping, and remove impervious surfaces and replace them with pervious pavers or vegetation on private residential property in the District; and to strengthen District residents understanding of stormwater issues and management.  One of the grants will also help coordinate the existing and future efforts of the District’s local stakeholders to implement water quality improvements in the Anacostia Watershed. The amount available for the projects in this RFA is approximately $1,070,000.00. This amount is subject to continuing availability of funding and approval by the appropriate agencies.

Beginning 10/2/2015, the full text of the Request for Applications (“RFA”) is available below.  It will also be available for pickup. A person may obtain a copy of this RFA by any of the following means:

Download the attachment below

Email a request to [email protected] with “Request copy of RFA 2015-1516-WPD” in the subject line;

Pick up a copy in person from the DOEE reception desk, located at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  Call Lauren Linville at (202) 535-2252 to make an appointment and mention this RFA by name; or

Write DOEE at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attn: Lauren Linville RE:2015-1516-WPD” on the outside of the letter.

The deadline for application submissions is 11/2/2015, at 4:30 p.m.  Five hard copies must be submitted to the above address and a complete electronic copy must be e-mailed to [email protected].

Eligibility: All the checked institutions below may apply for these grants:

  • Nonprofit organizations, including those with IRS 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) determinations;
  • Faith-based organizations;
  • Universities/educational institutions; and

For additional information regarding this RFA, please contact DOEE as instructed in the RFA document, at [email protected].

Questions and Answers:

Q: Will this grant opportunity be made available again next year?
A: Project 1 is anticipated to be a two-year grant period so it is unlikely it will be available again until 2017.
     Project 2 is anticipated to be a one-year grant period so there is a possibility this project will be available for grant submissions in 2016.
     Project 3 only has funding for one year so it is not known if it will be available again next year.

Q: What is the maximum award for non-profit grantees?
A: The grant award cannot exceed the amount available per project so the maximum award for project 1 is $330,000, $600,000 for project 2, and $140,000 for project 3.


Q: Is there a match amount required for this grant?
A: No, matching funds are not required, although they are encouraged.

Q: Will we be able to receive the 10% indirect rate for reimbursements?
A: Yes.

Q3: Please clarify if the eligible target audiences for RiverSmart Homes and RiverSmart Rebates is strictly residential homeowners. Can either program be open to private property owners inclusive of religious, non-profit, commercial, multi-unit housing, etc.?
A: The eligible target audience for the RiverSmart Homes Program is primarily residential property owners at this time.  DOEE may provide exceptions on a case-by-case basis after discussions with the grantee.  The target audience for the RiverSmart Rebates Program includes owners of houses of worship, non-profits, multi-unit housing properties. Some commercial entities may qualify for RiverSmart Rebates at DOEE's discretion.  DOEE may establish a targeted incentive for audiences outside of residential property owners in the future as a separate grant.

Q: Does this program include tree planting projects in Rock Creek Park?
A: No, project 1 of the RFA includes trees planted on private residential properties through the RiverSmart Homes program.

Q: Please advise as to the level of detail required within the budget section.
A: The proposal must present a project budget with a narrative. An example of the project budget table is available in Appendix 2 of the RFA. A more detailed explanation of what is required in the project budget and narrative are outlined on pages 11 and 12 of the RFA.

Q: Please advise as to the procedures required in requesting an advance payment as part of the RFA application.  Is there a specific form that needs to be completed?  What information should be provided in addition to the RFA application materials?
A: In limited cases DOEE may award an advance payment. Advance payments shall not exceed 25 percent of the grant award or $100,000. Page 19 of the RFA states that if the applicant seeks an advance payment it must make the request in its proposal and explain the need for the advance. The applicant seeking the advance must also acknowledge that, if selected, it is prepared to provide the information requested in the Advance Payment Request Form. The Advance Payment Request form must be signed by the organization’s Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Director, or equivalent positions. If selected for an award, in addition to the Advance Payment Request Form, the applicant must submit a statement of need for the requested amount and a detailed spending plan with timeline. The applicant must acknowledge that it will adhere to a stringent and frequent monitoring schedule. The Advance Payment Request Form is attached.

Q: (regarding program three only) Can this program fund an existing position, or does the Anacostia Ambassador have to be a newly hired individual?
A: It can be either.  However, the submitted proposal needs to explain how the objectives of the project will be met. The proposal should not support ongoing operations of the organization.

Q: Will the Anacostia Ambassador be fully integrated within the grantee organization, or will this position serve as a third-party individual publicly representing the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (rather than the grantee organization)?
A: The Anacostia Ambassador may be part of the organization but the Ambassador must also support the efforts of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and meet the outputs and deliverables of the RFA.

Q: Are there any salary requirements for the Anacostia Ambassador?
A: There are no salary requirements; however, the salary cannot exceed the amount of the grant.

Q: What are the specific geographic areas DOEE would like to target with this grant?  What areas in Rock Creek will be the target areas?
A: Project 2 targets any single-family residential property in the District. Currently special incentives are only offered in the DOEE’s targeted sub-watersheds: Hickey Run, Bloomingdale, and Alger Park.  Rock Creek is not currently one of DOEE’s targeted sub-watersheds.

Q:Are there specific GI projects through the RiverSmart Homes Program you consider more effective than others and would like to see more of on residential properties? For example, would you prefer rain gardens to BayScape gardens?
A: While rain gardens have a higher stormwater retention value than BayScapes, the RiverSmart Homes Program prefers that the appropriate GI project is selected to meet the stormwater needs of each property.

Q: If approved and selected for the grant, what is the process for budget reallocation? For example, if less staff time is needed than originally suggested in the budget, can that be reallocated for on-the-ground projects?
A: Requests for budget reallocation must be made in writing to the DOEE grant manager for the project.  Grant funds should not be spent before budget reallocations are approved by the DOEE grant manager.

Q: Do you have a list of preferred contractors with which you currently work?  If so, can you share this list?
A: The current grantee coordinating landscaping projects through RiverSmart Homes has partnership agreements with contractors and those are the contractors presently doing work through RiverSmart Homes. Those contractors are: Bona Terra, Capitol Hardscapes, Concreto Plus Inc., Custom Stonescaping, Denchfield Landscaping, First Impression Hardscapes, Green Room DC, Xtra Care Landscaping & Design, Inc., District Construction Restoration and Abatement, John Shorb Landscaping, Landis Garden Design, Green Gardens, Cyd Price, Independence Landscape & Lawn Care, Gardens & Pots, Daylily Landscaping, Gardening for the Greater Good, Inc., Organic Edible Gardens, LLC., Landscaping Development Co, and Native Restorations.