WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA will provide up to $99 million in conservation funding to assist Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York, according to a press release.

The funding will assist in transforming 671 acres of hurricane-damaged property into permanent floodplain easements, while also allowing affected communities to become more resilient to future flooding and storm surges, stated the release.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP-FPE), which provides long-term protection and restoration of floodplains on privately-owned lands damaged by flooding, are supplying the funding for Hurricane Sandy victims, noted the release.

"More homeowners and communities that are still struggling from Hurricane Sandy will now find relief," said Vilsack. "Restoring and protecting floodplain areas will also reduce the potential for future flooding impacts and improve wildlife habitat and long-term environmental stability."

You can find the release here.