The full text of this funding opportunity will be posted to fedgrants.gov on or about May 21, 2004.
Following is a synopsis description of the funding opportunity:
I. The overall goal of this announcement is to fund projects that create or enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitat on the lower Colorado River (LCR), and concurrently expand our knowledge of restoration in general. The geographical area of consideration is within the historic floodplain of the LCR where populations of many species have declined precipitously, presumably due to a loss of both terrestrial and aquatic habitat.
Proposals submitted under this announcement should either 1) directly improve or restore one of the following LCR habitat types: cottonwood, willow, mesquite, wetland, marsh and/or open backwater; or 2) demonstrate and explore methods or present research that can be used to restore these habitat types. Species that may benefit from these projects include, Federally or State Endangered and/or Threatened Species and Species of Special Concern that occur or historically occurred on the LCR. Proposals for terrestrial and aquatic restoration, and/or a combination of the two, are being considered for funding by Reclamation and can include, but are not limited to the following:
A) TERRESTRIAL HABITAT RESTORATION
1) Creation/Enhancement - Reclamation is interested in partnering with other entities to restore and enhance riparian habitats to create a mosaic of vegetation communities within the historic floodplain/watershed of the LCR. Restoration of the following habitat types may be addressed in proposals: cottonwood/willow (Populus fremontii, Salix exigua, S. goodingii), mesquite (Propsopis glandulosa var. torreyana, P. pubescens), and other native vegetation associated with riparian habitat (Atriplex spp., Baccharis spp., etc)
Funding will be considered for the following activities:
--Clearing, root-raking, debris removal, leveling, and planting of restoration sites
--Cover crop establishment/soil remediation
--Other related site preparation activities
2) Research/Demonstration - Due to changes in flood regimes, channelization, water diversions, groundwater levels, soil components, etc., many areas on the LCR are no longer conducive to supporting the suite of native vegetation that occurred historically. Individual requirements of native plants need to be better understood in order to include as much diversity of species in the restoration process as possible under present conditions. Planting and irrigation methods need to be improved and plant lists for specific site conditions need to be developed.
Almost all restoration sites will require either temporary or permanent irrigation. Irrigation is necessary not only for maintenance of the vegetation, but also to maintain micro-habitat conditions such as soil moisture and to control soil salinity. The type of irrigation system employed at each site will depend on many factors, but the method of irrigation must create and maintain the proper vegetation coverage for the species in question.
Reclamation is interested in funding projects that include, but are not limited to the following:
--Life history requirements of riparian vegetation including germination and growth of plants under different environmental and micro-habitat conditions
--Genotypic and phenotypic factors and variability within plant species that help to determine survival, response to environmental conditions, flowering phenology, etc.
--Soils - salinity, texture, nutrient levels, soil conditioning treatments and amendments, mycorrhizal fungus requirements/presence
b) Planting/Site Preparation Techniques
--Plant materials/seed collection techniques, documentation of collecting locations and timing/availability for collection (by species), development of plant materials collection nurseries.
--Seed preparation such as cleaning/hulling, scarification, seed coatings
--Seed storage and plant propagation techniques
--Mulching materials (straw, chips, etc.)
--Crimping, corrugating soil surface
--Cover crops (planting techniques, irrigation, species lists for different soil types)
--Soil stabilizing products/methods
--Techniques, systems, equipment, and/or products that increase/improve irrigation efficiency (while maintaining proper micro-climate conditions within riparian habitats)
--Remote access technology to maintain/monitor irrigation systems (software and hardware)
3) Maintenance/Management of Restoration Sites - Historically, habitats on the LCR changed over time due largely to periodic flooding. In order to ensure that a representative amount of habitat is present for various seral stages of vegetation, it may be necessary to directly or indirectly manage stands of vegetation using various harvesting techniques. Soils on the LCR are subject to salt buildup without flooding, berms must be maintained for irrigation of sites, etc. Areas of consideration for funding by Reclamation can include, but are not limited to the following:
--Soil moisture including surface and subsurface moisture maintenance
--Soil salinity control
--Funding for general maintenance of restoration sites
--Pruning/selective harvesting/clearing/replanting (to maintain specific seral stages of vegetation)
B) AQUATIC HABITAT RESTORATION
As with the terrestrial habitats, changes in the hydrological regime have impaired the ecological health of many of the aquatic habitats along the LCR, especially isolated backwaters, resulting in a loss of fisheries value in many of these habitats which were historically critical to the continuation of native fish species. Prior to development, periodic flooding events would introduce disturbances by scouring away excess sediment, salts, and nutrient loads, in effect resetting eutrophic ponds to earlier successional stages. Without these flooding events, the tendency is for these isolated backwaters to become increasingly eutrophic and saline until they become inhospitable for most fish and wildlife. Restoration of LCR backwaters requires both improved methodology for habitat restoration as well as refined habitat restoration criteria based on the habitat needs of target species.
Reclamation is interested in partnering with other entities to restore and/or create wetlands, marshes and backwater/open water areas on the LCR to provide habitat for native fish and other species of concern. Proposals may involve the construction of a new habitat or may focus on enhancing existing habitats. Aquatic habitats may be connected to or isolated from the Colorado River but must be within the historical floodplain. The following topics may be addressed in proposals:
1) Construction support for restoration of new and existing aquatic habitats
--Vegetation clearing, well drilling, earth moving, excavation, dredging
--Installation of water delivery systems, access gates, monitoring systems, etc.
2) Pre- and post- restoration habitat assessment, research, demonstration
--Topographic/bathymetric mapping, aerial photography
--Habitat monitoring (water quality, water elevation/flow, productivity/nutrients, toxic substances, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, fish populations, avian usage)
3) Habitat design considerations and demonstration of techniques
--Hydrologic/water supply infrastructure
--Mosquito control, vegetation control, invasive species control, spawning locations, artificial habitat structures
--Bank contouring, access roads/paths
4) Water quality research and enhancement
--Bioremediation of excess nutrients
--Integration of current Colorado River flow regime with aquatic habitat management
5) Management/Maintenance of restoration sites
--Water quality management
--Fisheries Management (both native and invasive species)
--Wetland/marsh wildlife monitoring and management
Who can apply:
Eligible functional categories:
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Acquisition and Assistance Group - LC-3100