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USDA’s NIFA-CEAP Watershed Synthesis: Lessons Learned

  • Roberta Parry, Senior Agriculture Advisor, US EPA Office of Water
  • Lisa Duriancik, Coordinator, CEAP, USDA NRCS, Resource Assessment Division
  • Deanna Osmond, Professor and Department Extension Leader, Soil Science Department, NC State University

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) established university-led watershed-scale research and extension projects in support of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). CEAP addresses USDA's need to quantify the effects and benefits of agricultural conservation practices. This webcast will highlight a study led by North Carolina State University to analyze and synthesize key lessons learned from 13 of these watershed-scale projects on cropland and pastureland. The goal of CEAP Watersheds is to better understand how the suite, timing, and spatial distribution of conservation practices influence their effect on local water quality outcomes. The NIFA study also evaluated social and economic factors that influence implementation and maintenance of practices, as well as education critical to transferring knowledge to farmers, ranchers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve practice effectiveness. This webcast will also highlight linkages between USDA’s CEAP project and US EPA’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program. Most of the 13 watersheds studied in the analysis also have 319 projects. 

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