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You are here: Home News & Events Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership FY 2018 Call for Project Proposals

Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership FY 2018 Call for Project Proposals

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) anticipates receiving appropriations in FY 2018 to support the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (ORBFHP) and its efforts to complete on-the-ground, aquatic habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement projects.

The Service and the ORBFHP recognize that a substantial amount of the protection, restoration and enhancement of aquatic habitat will be done at the local level by local watershed associations, municipalities, tribes, states and nongovernmental organizations. The Service and the ORBFHP will work with organizations to encourage local conservation actions that fit within the ORBFHP’s Strategic Plan priorities. A “project” is defined as an action that will protect, restore or enhance Ohio River Basin fish/mussel habitat. Project proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the ORBFHP Steering Committee. The Service will use the recommendations provided to them by the ORBFHP in making final decisions regarding project funds, and anticipates making final decisions regarding project selection by spring 2018.

Please use the following guidelines in this RFP to submit your proposal to Donovan Henry ( and Collin Moratz ( by October 6, 2017. For questions, please email or call Donovan or Collin, USFWS, at 618-997-6869, ext. 104 or ex. 122, respectively.

The Ohio River and its basin are of national significance in both geographic scope and the fish and mussel resources contained within them. The Ohio River is the second largest river in the United States as measured by its annual discharge. The basin also contains at least 350 species of fish and more than 120 mussel species, including a number that are federally listed.  Sportfishing is a major recreational activity with over 2.5 million angling hours recorded and 2.8 million fish caught within just the main-stem Ohio River during past surveys. It was with these resources in mind, that the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (ORBFHP) coalesced from a meeting of approximately 50 federal and state agencies, NGOs, and academic representatives interested in the aquatic habitat of the Ohio River Basin.

The ORBFHP’s focus is embodied in its mission statement:  The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership focuses protection, restoration, and enhancement efforts on priority habitat for fish and mussels in the watersheds of the Ohio River Basin for the benefit of the public.

The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership will accept proposals for

Fiscal Year 2018 aquatic habitat projects in the Ohio River Basin as follows:

Priority Areas:

Fish habitat protection and restoration projects that are within ORBFHP priority areas will be given primary consideration. Projects outside of these areas are still eligible (see map below):


  • Projects must be within the Ohio River Basin.
  • Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (ORBFHP) funding requests typically range between $10,000 and $40,000, but larger project requests can be submitted and will be considered depending on funding levels.
  • Federal agencies, states, tribes, tribal authorities, local governments, non-profits, for-profits, and private individuals can all apply.
  • Match and partner contributions of 3:1 are encouraged, but others will be considered. In-kind and federal match is allowed.
  • Post-project monitoring is required. This requirement can be met by using existing state, fed, local, or other monitoring programs.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline of midnight, October 6, 2017 will not be accepted.

Fund Request Restrictions: ORBFHP funding cannot be used for:

  • Realty costs (e.g., lease or purchase interests in real property or to make rental or other land use incentive payments to landowners).
  • Operation and maintenance of facilities or structures.
  • Actions required by existing regulatory programs, except that funds may support activities under voluntary agreements that exceed regulatory requirements for conserving habitats (e.g., hydropower licensing in which the licensee enters into a voluntary agreement to restore habitat that exceeds regulatory requirements).


Priority will be given to projects that address these factors in your online application:

  • Projects in priority areas and directly related to the focus of the ORBFHP’s Strategic Plan (Appendix 1).
  • Address conservation or restoration actions where ORBFHP signature species are present (Appendix 1).
  • Consider watershed-scale ecological and hydrological processes that affect fish habitat and fish populations.
  • Are part of a watershed restoration effort that works to provide permanent solutions to the root cause of habitat decline.
  • Are integrated and aligned with other conservation plans (e.g. State Wildlife Plans, Watershed Management Plans, etc.).
  • Evaluate their actions on target habitats, ecosystem processes and fish populations over time.
  • Leverage resources from partners.
  • Provide benefits to broad spatial scope of aquatic resources, beyond the immediate project site (e.g. reconnects multiple miles of river)
  • Identify measures of success and performance targets that are observable and amenable to pre- and post- project monitoring.
  • Include an outreach/education component in the local community.
  • Where applicable, incorporate best management practices that:
    • Ensure they will not spread invasive species
    • Use the most current science and technology for project design.
    • Incorporate climate change adaptation.


Other Considerations:

  • If you have multiple projects that are different project types, please submit separate proposals for each project type. For example, a project that will restore fish passage in one stream or watershed in three different locations is considered one project, but a project that removes a fish passage barrier and restores a wetland downstream of the barrier is considered two projects.
  • Fund recipients must follow federal requirements for accounting, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and other applicable laws.
  • Please note that additional information may be REQUIRED at a later date.


Additional Information about the Online Application Process

Please include the following information in your proposal.  Section titles are guidelines based off the previous website-based application.


  •  Project title and type.
  •  Provide a project abstract in 500 characters or less.
  •  Identify project location. If your project includes multiple sites in a watershed, select a latitude and longitude for one of those sites. You can provide additional information about project locations later in the application.
  •  Select the 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) for your project location. You may select more than one watershed.
  •  Identify the state/federal agency responsible for fish management.
  •  Is land ownership Federal, State, County, City, Tribal, Private, or Other?
  •  Will public fishing access is available at the project site?
  •  Please include your congressional district as well as all congressional districts in which physical activities of the project will occur.
  • Has NEPA been initiated? If so, to what extent?
  • Has federally threatened/endangered species review with USFWS and/or state natural resource agency been completed?
  • Has historical/cultural review with SHPO been completed?


Provide contact information for the project officer for this proposal, and co-officer if appropriate.

If known, please include DUNS number and EIN


If federal funding has been received in the past, provide a general list of federal funding sources in 350 characters or less.

 Were you required to submit an A-133 single audit for last fiscal year?

 Is your profile currently active?

 Are you enrolled in ASAP (Automated Standard Application for Payments)?

Enter your project funding request and match. Applicants are encouraged to meet a three to one match for proposed projects. Matching funds may be federal or non-federal, in-kind or cash that has been applied to the proposed project within 2 years of the start date of this proposal.  Letters of intent may be requested from contributing partners before obligating funding.

To provide budget information, you may use the federal form SF 424a for non-construction projects or form SF 424c for construction projects. Please include a budget justification, including calculations for personnel allocation and descriptions of other expenses for all budget categories.  Forms available at:

Alternately, you may attach a file indicating how ORBFHP funding money would be spent using an excel spreadsheet. Please itemize costs and rationale for costs with as much detail as possible (e.g. purchase of 100’ bottomless culvert = $22,500; labor for backhoe operation and planting vegetation (100hrs @ $25/hour) = $2,500). Please do not inflate or underestimate costs. Indirect costs cannot exceed 10% unless applicants have an indirect cost agreement established with the federal government. We encourage minimizing indirect costs (10% or less).

 Identify one or more ORBFHP priorities that your project addresses.

 Enter the aquatic species that your project benefits. Be sure to include all applicable

ORBFHP Signature Species (Appendix 1).  Included species must be near enough project to be directly affected.

 Describe project objectives and methods using SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound).

Enter metrics that will be used to measure success for assessment and/or conservation projects: conservation actions taken, number of aquatic populations assessed, total miles of in-stream/riparian habitat assessed, number of aquatic organism passage barriers removed or bypassed, number of acres of upland/wetland habitat assessed, number of miles reopened to fish passage.

 What are the root causes of habitat degradation? Use up to 250 characters to describe the root causes of habitat degradation in the project area and the causes your project will address.



 What is your desired start date and anticipated project duration?

 Describe how the project is part of a watershed scale effort in 1,000 characters or less.

 Describe how the project will be monitored in 1,000 characters or less.

You may provide additional information you feel is relevant to your proposal and not covered elsewhere in 1,000 characters or fewer. Provide a map and photos of your project site.

 Please answer the following in fewer than 1,000 characters each:

1. Describe why you feel you and your organization are qualified to successfully complete all aspects of this project.

2. Describe any planned outreach or educational component(s) and partner(s) involved.

3. What methods will you use to promote the project if it is funded?

4. Will the project prevent the spread of invasive species, and if so, please describe how.

5. Describe how the project will use best management practices and/or use most current science/technology.

6. Does the project incorporate strategies that will respond to climate change? You may include additional information that you feel is relevant to your proposal, including planning documents, additional information on project sites, project fact sheets, etc. Please limit uploaded materials to 10 pages total. Links to a website that has additional information are welcome.


Partnership Info

Please include existing plans that your project addresses or is integrated with.  Links to websites of partnering organizations are appreciated.

Please send your completed proposal to Donovan Henry ( and Collin Moratz (  Please e-mail or call, (618) 997-6869, with any questions.

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