USDA ANNOUNCES CONSERVATION EFFECTS ASSESSMENT PROJECT GRANT RECIPIENTS
- Benefits of Environmental Programs Being Studied Through Federal Partnership
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2004-Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced four recipients of grants totaling $2.5 million for the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). These four projects will study the environmental benefits of federal conservation programs on agricultural land and will improve understanding of the effects of conservation practices on water quality.
"These four projects will expand the scope of USDA's efforts to understand how conservation practices affect water quality in agricultural watersheds," Veneman said. "This program also demonstrates how coordination among agencies can enhance our ability to address critical water quality issues."
The four recipients are:
Heidelberg College to investigate impacts of conservation practices on water quality in Rock Creek Watershed in Ohio - $540,000
Iowa State University to evaluate economics of conservation practices in three watersheds in Iowa - $645,000
Utah State University to investigate impacts of agricultural management practices on phosphorous levels in the Little Bear River in Utah - $645,000
University of Idaho to investigate impacts of land management on suspended solids and sediment entering Paradise Creek in Idaho - $640,000
The four awards were made through a joint competitive grants program offered by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Through CEAP, USDA will study the environmental benefits of conservation practices implemented through 2002 Farm Bill programs: Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Security Program and Conservation Technical Assistance.
CEAP is composed of two basic parts: a nationwide assessment of conservation benefits and more in-depth studies of these benefits as they directly impact the watersheds selected for the study.
The national assessment will be reported annually starting in 2005. The National Resources Inventory will be used as the primary sampling basis for estimating the environmental benefits of conservation practices. Surveys of farmers and ranchers and utilization of other existing USDA computer models also will be used.
The projects will begin this year and are expected to continue through 2007. These projects join 20 existing watershed projects led by the Agricultural Research Service and NRCS aimed at understanding the effects of conservation practices on water quality. Additional information about these grants is available from Mike O'Neill (202) 205-5952; email@example.com.
Additional information on CEAP is online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ceap. USDA news release issued July 22, 2004 lists the CEAP watersheds at http://www.usda.gov/2004/07/0299.xml