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: Methods for Determining Biodiversity Metrics, Focal Species, and Conservation Practices for Multi-scale Analysis in Support of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), February 2016 (PDF; 2.7 MB)
- Wildlife: Habitat Monitoring and Evaluation of Working Lands for Wildlife: New England Cottontails, February 2016 (PDF; 1.8 MB)
- Wetlands: The Integrated Landscape Modeling Partnership—Current Status and Future Directions, February 2016 (PDF; 10.5 MB)
- Grazing Lands: Evaluation of Ecological Site Classes and Community Classes for Regional Scale Modeling of Conservation Effects on Grazing Lands: MLRA 74, February 2016 (PDF; 0.7 MB)
- Grazing Lands: Evaluation of Ecological Site Classes and Community Classes for Regional Scale Modeling of Conservation Effects on Grazing Lands: MLRA 77C, February 2016 (PDF; 1.3 MB)
- Cropland: Are Harmful Algal Blooms Becoming the Greatest Inland Water Quality Threat to Public Health and Aquatic Ecosystems? Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 35, No. 1, January 2016 (PDF; 1.0 MB)
- Grazing Lands: Incorporating Hydrologic Data and Ecohydrologic Relationships into Ecological Site Descriptions. Williams et al., Rangeland Ecology & Management, January 2016
- Grazing Lands: Conservation Insight—Rotational vs. Continuous Stocking Comparisons: Environmental and Wildlife Responses, December 2015 (PDF; 0.5 MB)
- Wildlife: Conservation Insight—USDA Programs Help Meet Migrating Water-fowl and Shorebird Food Energy Needs on Rainwater Basin Wetlands in Nebraska, November 2015 (PDF; 2.6 MB)
- Wetlands: Assessing the Effects of USDA Conservation Programs on Ecosystem Services Provided by Wetlands, September 2015 (PDF; 1.0 MB)
- Wetlands: Science Note—Assessing the Effects of Wetland Practices in Agricultural Landscapes: A Conceptual Model for Wetland Plant Diversity, September 2015 (PDF; 0.8 MB)
- Wetlands: Science Note—Assessing Wetland Morphometrics and Ecosystem Functions in Agricultural Landscapes of the Atlantic Coastal Plain Using Fine Scale Topographic Information, September 2015 (PDF; 0.3 MB)
- Cropland: The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP): a national scale natural resources and conservation needs assessment and decision support tool, August 2015
- Cropland: Second NRI-CEAP Cropland National Assessment Survey (CEAP-2), in 2015 and 2016, August 2015
- Cropland: Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Texas Gulf Basin, July 2015
- 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
- Wetlands: Quantifying Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetland Conservation Practices in the Glaciated Interior Plains, April 2015 (PDF; 0.6 MB)