Audubon North Carolina Seeking Proposals for Community Engagement in Tyrrell County, NC With Focus on Nature-Based Solutions

Funding Agency:
National Audubon Society

Audubon North Carolina is soliciting qualifications from interested firms and individuals to support
community engagement and facilitation for the development of a nature-based resilience plan with local
partners in the communities of Columbia and Alligator in northern Tyrrell County.

Firms interested in performing this work will be considered based on written response to this Request
for Qualifications (RFQ). All applicants must submit their qualifications and should list any prior
experience with community engagement projects, particularly on efforts similar in nature and scope to
the project described in this RFQ.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, now and in the future. A nonprofit
conservation organization since 1905, Audubon works throughout the Americas using science,
advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon North Carolina (ANC) is a state office of
the National Audubon Society.

Across the Carolinas, there is a deficit of nature-based projects that are ready for design, permitting, and
implementation, especially those that have been jointly developed with the communities that they aim
to benefit. This under-representation in decision-making often results in disconnect between the needs
of underserved communities, and traditional funding sources for nature-based resilience projects. Prior
to the start of the project, Audubon’s national Science Division collaborated with our state offices in
North Carolina and South Carolina on a regional conservation “Blueprint” mapping tool for the coastal
Carolinas that identified the most important places for birds and vulnerable human communities as the
climate changes and sea levels rise. The Coastal Carolinas Blueprint (“Blueprint”) identified northern
Tyrrell County as an area where habitat restoration and protection may provide myriad co-benefits to
vulnerable coastal communities. With support from NOAA, Audubon and community partners in Tyrrell
County will work with community engagement specialists and engineering experts to evaluate local
challenges and co-create nature-based solutions that center the resilience needs and goals of
communities.

The project area is located in northern Tyrrell County on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula and
encompasses the Town of Columbia and the Alligator community. Northern Tyrrell County is in the
Pasquotank River Basin along the Scuppernong River, and the county overall is the least populous in the
state with 3,365 residents. In recent years, northern Tyrrell County has experienced the impacts of
hurricane flooding (e.g., Hurricanes Floyd, Isabel, Irene), sunny day flooding, and sea level rise among
other challenges that will be explored in collaboration with community partners. The project area is
home to vast natural resources which include the 10,000-acre Palmetto-Peartree Preserve and multiple
nearby national wildlife refuges, but there has historically been limited funding available to explore
nature-based solutions to these challenges. Numerous other projects, studies, and planning efforts
across the region are currently underway to build community and ecosystem resilience, and plan for
climate and land use change. This project will be conducted in coordination with other planning efforts
taking place across the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula, including but not limited to the Scuppernong
Water Study and the Albemarle Regional Resilience Portfolio.

Proposals are due by January 5th, 2024.

Responses shall be
submitted electronically with attached conflict of interest form to Cat Bowler, Senior Coastal Resilience
Program Manager (cat.bowler@audubon.org). Clarifying questions may be submitted to Cat Bowler or
Curtis Smalling (Curtis.Smalling@audubon.org).

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Audubon North Carolina (ANC) received federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) for community engagement contracted support to lead nature-based resilience
planning in northern Tyrrell County in partnership with our colleagues at Audubon South Carolina. Firms
are encouraged to apply to one or both community engagement RFQs in North and South Carolina.
Additional RFQs will be published at a later date in each state that will support the engineering and
conceptual design of vulnerability assessments and associated nature-based solutions. The selected
firm(s) will work in close coordination with Audubon and other members of the project team to achieve
project goals and deliverables.

The goals of this project are to develop site-level concepts for nature-based solutions that increase
community resilience and enhance bird habitat in the project area, and to build local capacity in support
of nature-based resilience project planning and implementation. With guidance from the consultant
selected in response to this RFQ, ANC will work with our community partners—including municipal
officials, faith- and community-based leaders and organizations, relevant government agencies, and
fellow conservation non-profits— to develop and implement a community engagement strategy that
enables Audubon and our project partners to identify and assess local challenges and community
priorities, and then determine appropriate nature-based solutions to increase community resilience in
the face of extreme weather and climate change. NOAA funding will support ANC and local partners in
our efforts to (1) synthesize and supplement where needed existing vulnerability assessments; and 2)
co-create and prioritize a suite of nature-based resilience projects that address the unique goals and
challenges of ANC and local partners in northern Tyrrell County.

ANC is committed to the creation of a Steering Committee made up of community partners and
representatives as a primary method for community engagement and project co-creation. This
committee will serve as regular advisors and thought partners over the course of the project.
The selected consultant must have knowledge of and provide all services in full compliance with all
applicable local, State, and Federal laws, regulations, executive orders, and requirements.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

January 5, 2024