California Fish Passage Forum

FY23 Request for Proposals

**This RFP has closed, but future Forum-sponsored opportunities will be posted to this page**

As one of 20 nationally recognized fish habitat partnerships (FHPs) under the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) the California Fish Passage Forum (Forum) is pleased to announce its FY2023 funding opportunity. Since its recognition as an FHP in 2012, the Forum has received funding through NFHP (via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)) to advance shared goals of protecting, restoring, and enhancing fish habitat - with the Forum's specific focus on anadromous fish populations in California. In FY23 the Forum expects to provide a total of roughly $150-250,000 in targeted funding. Projects eligible for this funding will help advance the Forum's mission to protect and revitalize anadromous fish populations within the Forum's geographic scope by restoring freshwater habitat connectivity throughout their historical range.


Eligible Projects

Forum NFHP funds must be used for on-the-ground habitat projects and related project design, assessment, monitoring, and outreach activities for fish passage projects. Types of eligible projects may include barrier removal or construction; barrier assessments to prioritize and plan barrier removals; land acquisition; fish passage-related monitoring; and community outreach and education actions. All projects must include monitoring and evaluation plans, an outreach and education component, and are highly encouraged to demonstrate 1:1 non-federal match.

Successful Proposals

Preference will be given to proposals that address one or more fish passage barrier(s) that:

  • Benefit at least one of the Forum's priority fish species, streams, rivers and/or anadromous fish habitats throughout their historical range;

  • Can be fully completed within 12-18 months;

  • Address a barrier listed in the California Passage Assessment Database (PAD);

  • Address a priority identified by state, tribal, and/or federal agency(s);

  • Address actions/barriers listed in a key restoration plan for the region;

  • Include plans for monitoring and evaluation;

  • Has an outreach and education component;

  • Contain a detailed budget outlining how Forum funding will be applied and all partner match;

  • Leverage at least 1:1 non-federal match (in-kind and/or cash);

  • Align with one or more of the Forum's seven objectives

  • Align with one or more of NFHP's National Conservation Strategies & USFWS Climate Change Strategies

Learn more about the projects the Forum has funded in the past here.

Preview the evaluation criteria used by the Forum when considering proposals here.

New Requirements Under the America's Conservation Enhancement Act

In late 2020, the America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act (S. 3501) was signed into law by the President after receiving unanimous bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. In addition to supporting other important conservation programs and initiatives, the ACE Act codified NFHP at the national level and created a path for funding authorization for one of the most successful voluntary conservation efforts in the nation. Due to the passage of the ACE Act, NFHP and all 20 FHPs (including the Forum), are navigating a transitional period with the establishment of a new national NFHP Board, as well as changes to funding timelines, project selection criteria, and project recommendation processes.


As we continue to navigate this transition the Forum is still awaiting official language from NFHP and the Department of Interior at the national level on a variety of project criteria. Interim recommendations for this transitional year include the following:

  • 1:1 non-federal match is highly encouraged for all projects

  • All NFHP funded projects must include an outreach/education component

  • Monitoring and evaluation measures must be included as part of the project application

  • Special considerations for tribal organizations. Please contact the Forum coordinator for additional details. 


Deadline for Proposal Submission

Proposals must be received via the Forum's online application, where applicants can attach requested documents and save their application while they are developing it. If you would like to review the application in advance of completing the online form a PDF version of the application is available here.

The extended deadline for project proposal submissions is now 11:59pm PT February 4, 2022.

Notification of Awards

Initial notification of ranking of proposals eligible for funding could be made as early as spring 2022, however, funds awarded through this RFP are tied to the FY23 federal budget and are not likely to be awarded until spring 2023 at the earliest (in recent years delays in the federal budget process has delayed these funds). 


Reporting Expectations

Recipients of Forum funding are expected to provide triannual updates on project progress (April 1, August 1 & December 1), as well as a final report upon project completion that includes descriptions of all objectives met, associated deliverables, and  before and after photos of any barriers removed or remediated. 


To better understand the expectations the Forum has for reporting on project progress, you can review the project progress and accomplishments reporting form.


Supporting Information & Resources

The Forum's Objectives

(California Fish Passage Forum Strategic Framework 2018-2023)

  1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.

  2. Facilitate coordination and communication among agencies, agency staff, and other entities that may propose, review, or promulgate fish passage projects within California.

  3. Coordinate funding mechanisms to remove fish passage barriers.

  4. Support state and federal permit coordination and streamlining.

  5. Facilitate plans to monitor and evaluate fish passage restoration effectiveness to ensure accountability.

  6. Encourage state and national policy and actions that support fish passage improvement in California.

  7. Implement education and outreach activities, targeting both the public and fish passage practitioners.


FY23 NFHP National Conservation Strategies

(NFHP National Conservation Strategies)

  1. Protect intact and healthy waters.

  2. Restore hydrologic conditions for fish.

  3. Reconnect fragmented fish habitats.

  4. Restore water quality.


USFWS Climate Change Strategies

(USFWS: Rising to the Urgent Challenge - Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change)

3.1 Take conservation action for climate-vulnerable species.

3.2 Promote habitat connectivity and integrity.

3.3 Reduce non-climate change ecosystem stressors.

3.4 Identify and fill priority freshwater needs.

3.5 Conserve coastal and marine resources.

3.6 Manage genetic resources.

3.7 Reduce susceptibility to diseases, pathogens, and pests.

3.8 Address fish and wildlife needs in renewable energy development.

3.9 Foster international collaboration for landscape conservation.


Other Relevant Documents & Resources

California Fish Passage Forum 2023 RFP Application (PDF)

California Fish Passage Forum 2023 RFP Evaluation Criteria (PDF)

CFPF FY23 RFP Budget template (xls)

California Fish Passage Forum's Fish Passage Barrier Removal Performance Measures & Monitoring Worksheet (PDF)



If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact the Forum Coordinator, Alicia Marrs, at