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Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)

What's New


CEAP Story Maps - Highlights of CEAP since its inception

CEAP Story Maps Menu

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.

To download a spreadsheet of specific
conservation practices and links to CEAP products
that inform those practices, click here (XLSX; 0.1 MB).

To view a 20-minute recorded demonstration
on use of this spreadsheet, click here (YouTube).

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

What's New

CEAP 2 Report

Monthly Conservation Outcomes Webinar Series
See a list of all scheduled webinars.

August 25th, 3 p.m. ET: Impact of Cover Crops on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dynamics

National and Regional Assessments

cropland picture


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.
wetlands picture


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.
wildlife picture


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.
grazing picture

CEAP-Grazing Lands

An effort designed to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices on non-Federal grazing lands in the United States.

Watershed Assessments

Thumbnail image of a map showing the location of the CEAP watersheds

New in 2021! National Assessment of Legacy Phosphorus – impact on watershed outcomes.
Glossy Publication featuring the CEAP Watershed Assessment Studies Network, project descriptions, and key findings and outcomes from each active site. October 2021 (PDF; 23.1 MB)

CEAP has 24 active watershed projects, including these 4 recent ones to identify more effective conservation practices promoting the following outcomes:
Florida Everglades Ag Area – better water quality and soil health.
Vermont's Lake Champlain Basin – better water quality, innovative practices and planning tools.
Ohio’s Western Lake Erie Basin – better water quality and soil health.
California’s Central Valley – improved water quality, availability, recharge.

Fifty-one 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.

Bibliographies and Literature Reviews

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.


CEAP Contacts