Site Feasibility and Design Alternatives Analysis

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Norwalk, CT

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Site Feasibility and Design Alternatives Analysis for a Living Shoreline Restoration at Veteran's Memorial Park


The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk (TMA) requires the services of a consulting firm with substantial experience in coastal assessment of flood-prone properties to conduct a site feasibility and design alternatives analysis for the ecological restoration of the southern end of Veteran's Memorial Park (Vet's Park) in Norwalk.

TMA is an AZA-accredited, non-profit organization located in Norwalk, CT. The mission of the Aquarium is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound Ecosystem and the global environment through exhibits, marine science, and environmental education. To accomplish this mission, the Aquarium acts as a leader in local and regional conservation projects around Long Island Sound to further the coastal resilience of our shorelines.

With the express goal of maintaining local thriving habitats and abundant wildlife, a 2022 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant was recently awarded to TMA to undertake a site analysis to determine the feasibility of a living shoreline restoration for the southern end of Vet's Park. The park is composed of a 36-acre city-owned plot of land, centrally located in Norwalk Harbor and provides a diverse array of recreational spaces to the surrounding community. Currently, Vet's Park faces extensive erosion and storm damage along its seaward edge with increasing frequency due to sea-level-rise. Sections of the walking paths are damaged and inaccessible to both wheelchairs and strollers. To solve this problem, we are proposing a feasibility study to assess options for the restoration of the southern end of Vet's Park. We are looking for a consulting firm to conduct this study to determine potential restoration designs for the city to improve the habitat and restore public access that are resilient in nature. The study should provide a robust and comprehensive understanding of the opportunity for landward tidal marsh expansion through an evaluation of existing tidal marsh structure and function. In addition, the study must also include an investigation of the immediately adjacent tidal waters and their capacity for seaward restoration of tidal wetlands or other intertidal habitat types as appropriate.

Study Area/Project Site:

The project boundaries will be approximately 12 acres (552,323 ft2) and include 1520 linear feet of shoreline. This area encompasses the southern end of Vet's Park along the shoreline.

Scope of Services/Work:

The services provided shall include:

  1. Develop a project QAPP and submit it to TMA project team for review and submission after beginning the contract period, and complete any revisions requested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review team until the QAPP is approved.
    • The QAPP must be in compliance with both National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and EPA standards and include all methods of data collection that will be conducted during the study.
  2. Evaluation of existing tidal wetlands and adjacent shoreline within study site boundaries:
    • The Consultant shall inspect and document the project site to become familiar with the existing immediate surroundings and identify general conditions that may impact the conceptual plan for the project.
    • The consultant shall analyze site conditions, including but not limited to:
      • Site survey with topography/bathymetry (upland and adjacent tidal waters)
      • Geological features of the site
      • Shoreline configuration
      • Landside infrastructure (location, extent, condition)
      • Environmental surveys:
        • Shoreline habitat and marshland vegetative surveys (determine structure and functional capacity of existing marsh habitat)
        • Hydrologic site profile: (measurements of currents, water levels, water quality, wave heights and directions)
    • Develop a Base Map
      • Consultant will produce a Base Map that will be utilized throughout the project for documents and in all alternative design strategies.
      • The Base Map will consist of the study site and surrounding waterways/properties and include detailed and accurate information regarding topography, bathymetry, existing habitat and all walking paths as well as other key natural or built elements within study area.
  3. Determine design alternatives for living shoreline restoration
    • The consultant shall identify and evaluate potential options for a living shoreline restoration that utilize various strategies incorporating salt marsh vegetation and upland plants to diminish public access disruptions from flooding.
    • Design alternatives will include, at a minimum:
      • A description of each restoration method and how it would be utilized within the project site.
      • An assessment of how well the alternative design meets the goal of creating a resilient, living shoreline.
      • The estimated cost of the alternative.
      • The potential risks involved in the alternative.
      • An overall statement on the general feasibility of the alternative as a method for site restoration.
  4. Biweekly (every other week) meetings with project team to assess progress and determine if changes to study need to be made.
  5. Quarterly reporting of results:
    • Reports will be required to be delivered to TMA project team to utilize for quarterly update meetings with stakeholders. All feedback from stakeholders will be shared with consultant.
  6. Develop a final report of all measured results:
    • An initial draft report will be compiled and presented to project team/stakeholders for initial review to allow for comments and feedback. Feedback from project team will be incorporated into the initial draft to produce the final report.
    • Report will include current site assessment and provide full summaries of structure and function of existing salt marsh habitats within the project boundaries.
    • Report will include the design alternatives for potential restoration strategies for the project site with all conclusions and recommendations from consultant stated.

Estimated Schedule of Deliverables:

Kick off meeting with Project Team, stakeholders, and consultant:

Month 1

Prepare QAPP for Project Team review and submission, and revise as needed:

Month 1, and as needed upon receipt of revision requests by EPA

Consultant conducts site assessment and begins developing design alternatives:

Months 2-7

Consultant updates Project Team:

Every 2 Weeks, Months (2-7)

Quarterly report presented to Project Team. Feedback from stakeholder committee relayed to consultant:

Months (1, 4, 7), and as needed based on questions/decision points with consultant

Draft Report Presented to Project Team and Stakeholder Committee by Consultant:

Month 8

Consultant accepts feedback and integrates into report:

Month 9

Consultant submits Final Report to Project Team and presents results to stakeholder committee:

Month 10

Firm Qualifications:

TMA is interested in a consulting firm that has extensive experience conducting assessments of coastal, flood-prone properties for ecological restoration alternatives. Prior experience working on feasibility studies to enable living shoreline or other restoration type installations as well as experience working with shellfish resources is required.

Submittal Requirements for RFQ (Submission guidelines):

Consultant firms wishing to be considered for the study will provide a submission which includes:

  • Introduction Letter: A cover letter that identifies the lead consultant with whom the TMA-led project team would work with and their area of expertise. The letter should summarize the firm's background and relevant experience providing assessments of coastal habitats, conducting living shoreline restoration feasibility studies, or any other comparable projects.
  • Staffing: Submissions must clearly identify personnel who will have a role in and/or lead the study. Resumes of relevant team members should be provided. Additionally, any sub-consultants that would potentially work on this project should be identified and their qualifications/experience working with your firm must be provided.
  • Method and Approach: Consulting firms must provide their recommended approach for carrying out the feasibility and design alternative analysis, a general timeline for the project, and an estimated budget for all work completed.
  • References: The consultant must provide a list of references that detail where similar requested services were provided by the consultant, over the last 5 years. Specific individuals/clients representing these similar projects should be noted for each reference.

Submission should be sent via email to:

Justin Susarchick
Conservation Project Manager

Fee and Fee Structure:

This feasibility study cannot exceed a total cost of $75,000. Consultant will provide a fee structure that includes the hourly rate of firm personnel working on the project. The cost for travel, attendance of meetings, and other expenses will be described in the fee structure as well.

Selection Process/Criteria:

In consultation with partners from The City of Norwalk and The Norwalk River Watershed Association, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will be responsible for reviewing all of the proposals received and will make assessments of consulting firms based on:

  • Proposal technical review
  • Firm's history and background
  • Relevant previous experience related to this project
  • Lead consultant/team's qualifications and experience conducting field assessments
  • Quality of references from previous clients
  • Budget

Based on the review of proposals, the project team may request to interview select consulting firms or may seek additional clarifying information of the materials provided. After all interviews/presentations, TMA will make a final selection.


The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk estimates the project completion time to be 10 months from the inception of the project.

As part of the RFQ, a draft work schedule must be provided by the Consultant that includes an outline from the inception to the completion of the site project. In addition, any selected firms should be prepared to meet/interview with the TMA project team/stakeholder committee members to determine the firm's ability to successfully carry out the project plan. Below is a schedule for the RFQ process:

Request for Qualifications is issued:

1/31/23023, 9AM

Deadline to submit required materials:

2/27/2023, 5PM

Initial screening of applicants completed:

3/6/2023, 5PM

Final evaluation of applicant's qualifications and recommendations:

3/20/2023, 5PM

Miscellaneous Provisions:

Confidentiality: By submitting a response to this RFQ to The Maritime Aquarium, you agree to the confidential nature of the information and materials developed, and agree to protect it in the same manner as you would your own confidential information, and not disclose the confidential information to third parties.

Independent Contractor: It is understood that each party shall act in its individual capacity and not as an agent, employee, partner, joint venture, or associate of the other.

Grant Rules and Regulations: The work conducted for this contract is being funded by a Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the selected Consultant must agree to adhere to any and all rules and regulations as defined by the funder.

Addendum as of 02/10/2023

We have received a number of questions for additional clarification for the Veterans Memorial Park Site Feasibility Study. For proper transparency and fairness for all potential applicants, we are adding this information as an addendum which provides information regarding the availability of existing site surveys for Vets Park and the surrounding area that could be provided as needed.

Do you have existing topographic and planimetric surveys of the existing conditions at Veteran's Park?

There is not an existing land survey of the park that provides sufficiently accurate planimetric or topographic information. The City of Norwalk can provide GIS data layers that include photogrammetrically derived topography and land features. The selected consultant will need to provide base mapping of existing conditions with sufficient accuracy to determine the feasibility of various shoreline restoration schemes.

Do you have any available bathymetric survey of the harbor in front of Veteran's Park?

No, we do not have a bathymetric survey. The selected consultant will need to provide base mapping of existing conditions with sufficient accuracy to determine the feasibility of various shoreline restoration schemes.

Do you have any reports or surveys showing the existing stormwater management features in Veteran's Park?

The City of Norwalk can provide GIS data layers that include the existing drainage system.

Addendum as of 2/21/2023

We have received a request to provide a map with approximate project boundary lines for the southern end of Vets Park. The requested map is provided in this addendum. The boundary lines, as presented, are an approximation and are not rigidly defined. These boundaries include the general region of Vets Park that the project team intends to focus the efforts of the feasibility study on. Prospective consulting firms must include this general area within their proposed project boundaries, but will be able to modify this boundary to meet the needs of the project deliverables/goals.

Request Type
Monday, February 27, 2023

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