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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #433436

Research Project: Effectiveness of Conservation Reserve Program Buffers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - 2017

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-13000-014-25-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2017
End Date: Dec 31, 2020

Objective:
The goal of this project is to improve the cost-effectiveness of CRP-funded riparian buffers by evaluating the effectiveness of current projects across the Chesapeake Bay watershed and developing strategies to enhance the targeting, implementation, management of CRP buffers with the following objectives. Evaluate the placement of CRP buffers relative to hydrologic flow pathways; Assess the range of field conditions and services provided by CRP buffer projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and Provide recommendation to USDA agencies on enhancing buffer services and improving landowner adoption.

Approach:
A combination of field assessment, remote sensing, and watershed modeling will be used to (1) assess the placement of CRP projects relative to concentrated hydrologic flow pathways that they should be expected to intercept, (2) summarize the range of field conditions and services provided by CRP buffer and grass filter projects, (3) quantify the range of nutrient and sediment reduction benefits of current CRP projects and assess the potential for improved placement of these projects, and 4) provide recommendations on enhancing buffer services and landowner adoption through various media.