USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced plans to use $45 million in stimulus funds to rehabilitate flood-control systems in 11 states.

He says the 27 watershed rehabilitation projects will help to revitalize rural economies by creating jobs and supporting local businesses. Many dams and other important flood-control structures across the country are in a race against time when it comes to their ability to protect people and property from flooding, according to a USDA release.

This funding is targeted toward to projects that work to avoid the risk of infrastructure failure and the threat that it would represent to life and property. “I think this is exactly what President Obama had in mind when he said that we will use funding from the Recovery Act to -- and I quote -- ‘begin making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work doing the work America needs done,’” Vilsack says.

To view the transcript of Vilack's news conference announcing the plans, click here.