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Synthesis and Analysis of 13 CREES CEAP Projects

Boll, Jan
University of Idaho
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The overall goal of our project is to provide science-based information for designing and implementing effective systems of BMPs across the country. Effectiveness is defined as the ability of BMPs to meet short-term and long-term water quality goals while maintaining or enhancing farm viability. Our goal will be met by addressing each of the following objectives: 1. Develop a web-based data information system for easy access to data from 13 CSREES CEAP watersheds and create a knowledge base system by providing guides and tools for analysis. The 24 ARS Benchmark and Special Emphasis watersheds will be included when possible. 2. Analyze BMP effectiveness of both individual and systems of BMPs in the 13 CEAP watersheds according to the desired water quality goal(s) related to sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and habitat properties. 3. Analyze social and economic factors that either facilitate or impede implementation or proper maintenance of BMPs in the 13 CEAP watersheds. 4. Synthesize the findings obtained under objectives 1 - 3 and develop systems of BMPs for agricultural landscapes to meet the optimal balance and combination of physical, biological, chemical, social, and water quality and economic goals (accounting for the views of landowners/operators and agency managers). 5. Develop a synoptic approach for geographic prioritization of BMP implementation at multiple scales. 6. Translate findings under objectives 5 and 6 into science-based knowledge that informs policy decisions to enhance the effectiveness of conservation programs and practices through improved design and implementation. 7. Conduct targeted outreach activities with key stakeholder groups to begin dialogue about prescribed synthesis results for improving management of agricultural landscapes. Evaluate and report on the impact of targeted outreach activities. Train stakeholders to use prioritization tool.
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Non-Technical Summary: The Conservation Effectiveness Assessment Program has funded 13 project across the nation. A synthesis and analysis is needed to achieve recommendations for future assessment and implementation of BMPs at the national level given the variable settings in the 13 CEAP projects. This project will establish the foundation for continued analysis and synthesis of BMP systems.

Approach: We will achieve the project objectives in three distinct yet cohesive and sometimes concurrent phases: - Phase 1 - Analysis and synthesis of findings from the 13 CEAP projects; - Phase 2 - Synthesis of science-based knowledge for conservation policy decisions; and - Phase 3 - Outreach of findings from Phases 1 and 2 to key stakeholder groups. During each phase, we will interact with CEAP investigators and stakeholders annually by organizing workshops at the National Water Quality Conferences. Site visits by a selection of PIs will be concentrated during the first 24 months of the project. An outreach strategy will be designed, executed, and evaluated in Years 3 & 4 of the synthesis project.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Sanitation and Quality Standards
Policy and Planning