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NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program - Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The largest estuary in North America, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed covers 64,000 square miles and includes more than 150 rivers and streams that drain into the Bay. More than 300 species of fish, shellfish and crab species and a wide array of other wildlife call the Bay home. With almost 30 percent of area in agricultural production, the region’s over 83,000 farms generate more than $10 billion annually.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed depends on a future that includes an agricultural sector that is not only productive but also protects natural resources. The 2013 CEAP study, “Impacts of Conservation Adoption on Cultivated Acres of Cropland in the Chesapeake Bay Region, 2003-06 to 2011,” shows that there have been significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loading from cropland in the region in recent years. However, the report also estimates that nearly 20 percent of cropland acres still have a high level of conservation treatment need. With the CCA designation, USDA will build on existing strong partnerships in the watershed to design and help fund innovative projects that will address these conservation needs, ultimately supporting rural economies, protecting wildlife habitat and improving water quality in the Bay.

This dataset includes a printer-friendly CCA map and shapefiles for GIS.

Release Date
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Contact Name
Hillsman, Terron L.
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Bureau Code
005:53 - Natural Resources Conservation Service