Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)
CEAP is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices and programs and develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality. Project findings will be used to guide USDA conservation policy and program development and help conservationists, farmers and ranchers make more informed conservation decisions.
Assessments in CEAP are carried out at national, regional and watershed scales on cropland, grazing lands, wetlands and for wildlife. The three principal components of CEAP—the national assessments, the watershed assessment studies, and the bibliographies and literature reviews— contribute to building the science base for conservation. That process includes research, modeling, assessment, monitoring and data collection, outreach, and extension education. Focus is being given to translating CEAP science into practice.
CEAP Vision... Enhanced natural resources and healthier ecosystems through improved conservation effectiveness and better management of agricultural landscapes.
CEAP Goal... To improve efficacy of conservation practices and programs by quantifying conservation effects and providing the science and education base needed to enrich conservation planning, implementation, management decisions, and policy.
. . . More about CEAP
A sampling and modeling approach using data from representative crop fields, from the National Resources Inventory, and farmer surveys to estimate impacts of conservation practices on the environment.
An effort to develop a collaborative foundation that facilitates the production and delivery of scientific data to inform conservation decisions affecting wetland ecosystems and the services they provide.
A cooperative effort with the fish and wildlife conservation community involving multiple regional assessments that document habitat condition and biological response to conservation practices and programs at multiple spatial scales.
An effort designed to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices on non-Federal grazing lands in the United States.
Forty-two CEAP watershed studies have been initiated to provide in-depth analysis and quantification of the measurable effects of conservation practices at the watershed scale and enhance our understanding of the effects of conservation in the biophysical setting of a watershed.
These studies are being conducted and/or supported by USDA's Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Future efforts will include translating this science into practice to better manage agricultural landscapes.
Current literature on conservation programs that documents what is known and not known about the environmental benefits of conservation practices and programs for cropland, fish and wildlife, wetlands, and grazing lands. The National Agricultural Library maintains dynamic bibliographies cataloging studies from 2003 to the present.
A full listing of all CEAP-related documents published to date.
Review CEAP documents by region and assessment via interactive map.
- Wildlife: An Assessment of Landscape Carrying Capacity for Waterfowl and Shorebirds in Nebraska’s Rainwater Basin, May 2015 (PDF; 1.4 MB)
- Grazing Lands: Development of an integrated multiplatform approach for assessing brush management conservation efforts in semiarid rangelands, May 2015
- News: Measuring Environmental Effects of Conservation Practices, May 2015
- Wildlife: Conservation Insight—Migrating and Wintering Waterfowl Select WRP Easements to Meet Annual Life-cycle Needs, March 2015 (PDF; 2.2 MB)
- Wildlife: Monitoring and Evaluating Golden-winged Warbler Use of Breeding Habitat Created by the Natural Resources Conservation Service Practices, March 2015 (PDF; 3.6 MB)
- Watersheds: Recording of the Feb. 5, 2015, Webcast on Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Watershed Assessment in USDA's Conservation Effects Assessment Project, February 2015; Webcast Flyer (PDF; 0.1 MB); Additional resources (PDF; 0.1 MB); Archive of the Webcast (YouTube); PowerPoint presentation (PDF; 5.5 MB)
- Wildlife: Conservation Insight—Weather Surveillance Radar Reveals Bird Response to the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, January 2015 (PDF; 1.3 MB)
- Wildlife: Conservation Insight—Wetlands Provide Vital Sage-Grouse Summer Habitats on Private Lands, December 2014 (PDF; 1.3 MB)
- Cropland: Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Delaware River Basin, November 2014
- Wildlife: Conservation Insight—Wyoming's Core Area Policy and Conservation Easements Benefit Sage-Grouse, November 2014 (PDF; 2.0 MB)
- Watersheds: CEAP Watershed Studies in Indiana and Ohio find that tile drains are a major path for phosphorous loss, October 2014