A sustained, comprehensive ecological monitoring program of the Hudson River is essential to continue to advance scientific understanding and inform future management decisions. Working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), fisheries scientists, and other stakeholders, the Hudson River Foundation (HRF) is supporting the next phase of Hudson River monitoring.
History of Long-term Monitoring in the Hudson River
Beginning in the 1980s, the utility companies operating on the Hudson River funded annual fish surveys to study how existing and proposed powerplants may entrain early live stages of fish and affect the overall health of the Hudson River ecosystem, creating an important long-term data set and improved understanding of how fish are distributed in the river. The closure and decommissioning of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant ended the utility companies’ support for the more than 40 years of fisheries monitoring. In 2022, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the NYS custodian of the Indian Point Community Fund provided the Hudson River Foundation with $6.5M to work in close collaboration with DEC and other fisheries scientists and stakeholders to initiate a multi-year effort to provide ecological data and analysis that would be the basis of a new Hudson River monitoring program – the HREMP.
The HREMP will build on the historical Hudson River monitoring data sets managed by Stony Brook University, DEC and Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies and fill important data and knowledge gaps to enhance management of the Hudson River fisheries and understanding of the ecosystem they depend upon.
Question 1: Are there specific laboratory certifications required (state, federal or otherwise) for the water quality analysis requested in Task 3?
Answer: Data under the requested Scope of Services must be collected, processed and analyzed following an approved Quality Assurance Plan and in a manner generally consistent with the quality standards outlined here: https://dec.ny.gov/environmental-protection/water/water-quality/assurance, including where applicable, the use of certified National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) laboratories. The current list of NY DOH ELAP certified laboratories and parameters can be found on the DOH’s website.
Question 2: Are matching funds or in-kind services a requirement for this RFP? If required, are the matching funds included in the $2M cap or can the total cost exceed $2M if matching funds are used?
Answer: Matching funds or in-kind services are not required. If used, matching funds do not count toward the maximum budget limit. Total project cost (not including any matching funds or in-kind services) cannot exceed $2M.
Question 3: Is the Hudson River Foundation willing to consider a proposal with either a reduced scope of services for each year or retaining the scope of services but reducing the timeframe?
Answer: As described in the RFP (page 2, Section B. Scope of Services.) “The Scope of Services provides a condensed summary of the monitoring activities to be conducted under the ILFW survey. The Consultant is requested to develop and describe their approach including the data collection methods and protocols needed to successfully provide the various services outlined herein.”
I. A proposal that excludes many of the requested services would likely be considered non-responsive to the RFP. However, a proposal that recommends alterations to the proposed approach, sampling design, data collection protocols, and analysis methods, if sufficiently justified (including sampling efficiency and cost considerations) could be acceptable.
As described in the RFP (page 11 Section VI. Evaluation.) Proposals will be evaluated based on staff qualifications, experience, project cost, and technical approach to completing the requested Scope of Services. Criteria for proposal evaluation include:
- Responsiveness to the Request for Proposals
- Technical Approach to the requested Scope of Services
- Experience and capacity to implement the Scope of Services
- Cost Effectiveness
II. The review of the proposals will include an evaluation of the Responsiveness to the Request for Proposals. Proposals that can provide more of the requested services will be ranked more favorably than those that omit requested services, collect a smaller number of samples, or reduce the sampling time period.
III. The review of the proposals will include an evaluation of the Technical Approach to the requested Scope of Services. Proposals that provide a strong justification for modification(s) to the scope of services and/or the technical approach will be ranked more favorably.
Question 4: In considering the scope of services, are there items HRF deems more important (i.e., higher priority) than others?
Answer: All requested monitoring activities in the Scope of Services are considered equally important by HRF. If a reduction to the Scope of Services is proposed, the Consultant should provide their rationale for reducing or eliminating the requested services. This could include the Consultant’s reasoning for why a particular component is less important than another or would be cost prohibitive.
Question 5: Given the timelines stated in this RFP, the anticipated start date of May 1 will be difficult to accomplish. How would a delayed sampling start date be managed?
Answer: The actual starting date for the data collection activities will be determined after completing the required pre-survey planning documents including the: HREMP Interim Lower Food Web (ILFW) Monitoring Plan. The RFP requests itemized budgets for each survey year. The budget for the first survey year should reflect the Constants expected start date and include sufficient detail to determine an appropriate prorated budget for the first survey year if the expected start date shifts. The Year 2 and Year 3 survey will start on January 1st and end on December 31st.
Question 6: The description of the LFW-FW-BLB sampling protocols doesn’t specify the methods Cary used to assess mussel biomass and filtration.
Answer: ILFW-FW-BLB surveys should generally follow the methods used in the CLFW survey. The methods are described in the manuscripts listed in Appendix 1 and in the Bivalve Metadata documents. Additional information on the Cary sampling and analysis methods and protocols are available here:
Additional information on the utilities Long River Survey is available here:
Question 7: The ILFW Striped Bass eggs and larval fish (ILFW-BW-SB-EL) survey description specified sampling from 48-52 discrete locations distributed within three sections of river. This yields ~400 samples, not ~500 as indicated in the RFP.
Answer: The number of samples specified in the RFP was incorrect. 402 is the correct estimate for the number of samples (Table 1).
Question 8: Please clarify if in addition to the filtered water samples held for the molecular sampling there is also a need to store 2 liters of water.
Answer: Only the filters need to held at -16 C for later analysis. Revised text is below.
A pump will be used to vacuum 2 L of water through a 47-mm glass-fiber filter (1.5-μm pore size). The filter and the 2-liter sample will be placed on ice in the field until filtered, then the filter should be stored at -16 C until authorized for transfer or disposal by HRF.
1 Hudson River Ecosystem Monitoring Program (HREMP) Panel: Chris Solomon, Patrick Sullivan, Nina Overgaard Therkildsen, Brian Weidel