Conservation Law Foundation: Request for Proposals Ocean Indigenous Engagement Consultant

Boston, MA, USA
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Job Description

October 3, 2023


Summary: Conservation Law Foundation is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to support the CLF Ocean program’s efforts to center Indigenous voices in ocean protection in New England. The consultant should bring expertise in developing equitable and inclusive partnerships with Indigenous peoples and nations for environmental advocacy campaigns. The consultant will focus on reviewing the Ocean Program’s habitat, fisheries, and offshore wind campaigns and will develop a plan to establish and expand partnerships with Indigenous peoples of New England and ensure that the voices of the Indigenous peoples of New England are centered and prioritized in all of CLF’s ocean protection efforts.


Timeline: Consultants should be available to begin work in November 2023. The project duration is expected to be approximately 2 months.


Due Date: Proposals are due no later than October 27th through email to Jen Felt @


Project Contact: Jen Felt, Ocean Campaign Director, Email:, Phone: (617) 850- 1750


Background and Mission


Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is the premier environmental advocacy organization in New England, forging lasting solutions to some of the toughest environmental challenges in the region. Since its founding more than 50 years ago, CLF has taken on powerful opponents who pollute the region’s air, land, and water. CLF has advocates on the frontlines of every New England state who use their deep local knowledge, legal acumen, and policy expertise to build a clean energy future and safeguard the health, quality of life, and economic prosperity of the people of New England. Since its founding, CLF has led such iconic battles as cleaning up Boston Harbor, stopping oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank, shutting down big coal throughout New England, securing the MBTA Green line extension as part of a groundbreaking Big Dig settlement, and giving teeth to the Clean Water Act to protect waters throughout the region.


CLF has safeguarded New England’s ocean for decades – from blocking oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank, to curbing overfishing, to pioneering smart ocean planning across the region. Today, we’re fighting for a clean, healthy, and productive ocean – for today and for generations




to come. We do this by protecting special places in New England’s ocean, working to save North Atlantic right whales, building sustainable fisheries, and ensuring responsibly sited offshore wind.


In order to address the current global extinction, climate and biodiversity crises, scientists recommend conserving at least 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the ocean by 2030. New England is experiencing the disappearance of some of its iconic marine wildlife, and the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 97 percent of the rest of the earth’s oceans. In response to these regional crises and in support of the national and global effort, CLF’s habitat protection campaign is working to advance marine protected areas and other forms of habitat protection in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.


The Ocean program is also working to ensure that large-scale offshore wind is developed in a way that protects ocean wildlife, maintains a healthy ocean, and minimizes impacts on other ocean uses. That means we must balance our need for renewable clean energy with the protection of critical ocean habitat, important wildlife, and the livelihoods of our coastal communities. Additionally, CLF is aware that Indigenous communities and many others have depended on the ocean and its resources for food, recreation, and other physical, cultural, and spiritual needs. It is essential that these uses are understood and respected today as ocean use continues to change.


CLF’s mission is to protect New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. We use the law, science and the market to create solutions that preserve our natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy.




CLF currently has 125 staff members and an annual budget of $27 million. The organization is headquartered in downtown Boston with regional offices in Portland, Maine; Montpelier, VT; Concord, NH; New Haven, CT; and Providence, RI. CLF’s current work is organized around six topical areas: Clean Energy and Climate Change, Oceans, Clean Air and Water, Healthy and Resilient Communities, Environmental Justice, and Strategic Litigation.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Context


CLF is committed to addressing environmental challenges in a way that is inclusive of and equitable for all New Englanders. We know that our work will be stronger, better received and have more lasting impact if our organization and partnerships reflect the diversity of the communities where we are advocating for cleaner water and air, thriving natural resources, a healthier built environment, and better overall public health.




Diversity is one of CLF’s core values, and we believe that diversity in our workplace, boards, and membership will make us a stronger organization that is better able to achieve our mission.

Greater diversity is crucial to improving our strategic thinking, increasing our membership, and reaching more donors. As such, our goal is to integrate and align our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion with all aspects of our advocacy work.


Despite these goals and values, CLF recognizes that the ocean protection and greater conservation movements in our organization and beyond have historically prioritized whiteness and the values and practices of settler colonialism over accountability, inclusivity, and justice.

For these reasons, CLF seeks a consultant that will support our efforts to build a community engagement and outreach plan that will help us identify and implement strategies to engage with and center the voices of the Indigenous nations of New England in all of our ocean protection efforts, as well as identifying any pieces of our existing efforts that are not in alignment with Indigenous values and priorities, or any priority areas where CLF can support our Indigenous partners.


Scope of Work


The consultant, with support from CLF’s Oceans team and Senior Vice President, People, Culture and Equity, will accomplish the following overall activities and deliverables:

a.      Review existing Oceans campaign plan, resources, and materials, providing feedback and recommendations for increasing Indigenous leadership and engagement across all of our efforts, as well as identifying any areas of conflict or opportunities for additional collaboration.

b.     Provide expertise on equity and Indigenous engagement best practices and develop a strategy for expanding CLF’s partnerships with Indigenous peoples, nations, and organizations in New England.

c.      Develop and (dependent on funding) support the implementation of an outreach strategy, including a detailed work plan, aimed at increasing Indigenous engagement and leadership in CLF’s campaign efforts.


These tasks will be accomplished through a combination of activities that will engage staff and outside partners and may include (as determined by the consultant with input from CLF staff):

a.      Outreach to New England’s Tribal Nations and Indigenous organizations, including focus groups, interviews, and/or any other method that will be useful in receiving input.

b.     Facilitating group meetings with staff and partners to ideally create consensus regarding an Indigenous engagement plan (including goals, objectives, strategies




and tactics).

c.      Research on best practices to build equitable and just partnerships with Indigenous nations for environmental protection campaigns.


Project Deliverables:

1.     A written memo detailing the consultant’s review of the CLF’s existing Ocean campaigns that includes 5-10 recommendations to enhance and/or build Indigenous engagement and partnerships.

2.     A clear workplan that includes goals, objectives, timeline, and identified implementers to support the recommendations outlined in project deliverable #1.

3.     Engage in 2-4 (in person or zoom) meetings with CLF’s Ocean program’s staff and others, as identified by CLF’s Ocean Campaign Director, to gather information and create consensus around the recommendations and workplan.


Consultant Qualifications


The selected consultant will have:

Ø Demonstrated experience developing and implementing collaborative and effective diversity, equity and inclusion plans that engage staff and community partners, particularly Indigenous partners.

Ø Experience gathering and utilizing qualitative information to inform a campaign planning process.

Ø Experience working with Indigenous communities on environmental protection issues.

Ø Excellent communication skills (verbal and written).

Ø Indigenous consultant strongly preferred.



CLF’s budget for this project is up to $10,000 Please submit a budget that projects a number of hours and an hourly rate for each deliverable.


Proposal Submission:


Please submit a narrative proposal of no more than three pages that includes a link to the consultant’s LinkedIn or website page. If the consultant has neither of these, please submit a brief summary of the consultant’s background, qualifications, and experience.


Please visit our website for more information about our work.

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