CONSERVATION EFFECTS ASSESSMENT PROJECT (CEAP)(2011) - ARS BENCHMARK WATERSHED STUDIES
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Principal focus of the CEAP Watershed Studies is to evaluate the effects and benefits of conservation practices at the watershed scale, in support of policy decisions and program implementation.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The effects of conservation activities on water and soil quality will be assessed at the watershed scale using models such as ARS' Soil and Water Assessment Tool, in combination with ARS long-term watershed data sets, expertise, and resources.
This project involved assessment of conservation practices in the Choptank River Watershed on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Agricultural best management practices were evaluated including winter cover crops and wetland restoration. Satellite data was acquired during the cropping season to assess success of winter cover crops for nitrogen uptake. Ecosystem service provision by wetlands were measured and correlated to biophysical measurements from remotely sensed data. In addition to establishing the water quality condition of the overall watershed, monthly base flow sampling of the 15 sub-watersheds, as well as, quarterly sampling on the main stem of the Choptank River continued during this reporting period. These samples were analyzed for nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and pesticide residues (parent and metabolites of atrazine and metolachlor).