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The Coastal Plain is any flat, low-lying geographical region that is near the sea. In the United States the coastal areas are the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, another name for them is Atlantic Coastal and Gulf Coastal plains. The coastal plain strecthes from Maine to Florida and on the east the Atlantic Ocean and on the west the Piedmont Plateau.
The coastal plain is an extension of the submerged continenental shelf.
Coastal plain region makes up the largest part of the state. It is roughly three-fifths of the state. There are two regions within the coastal plain, they are: the Inner Coastal Plain and the Outer Coastal Plain.
The Outer Coastal area is generally flat with two of the most distinguishing features of this area are the many marshes and swamps. These swampy areas are a result of poor drainage from inland rivers, mainly from the Savanah and Ogeechee rivers. The most famous swamp in the south-east is the Okefenokee Swamp which is located south of Waycross.
The Okefenokee Swamp is home to many species of plants and animals some found only here. It is 681 square miles in area and is a natural wild-life refuge. Some of the plants in the swamp include cypress forests, waterlillies, brush vines, and Spanish moss. Animal life includes alligators, wildcats, opossums, deer, raccoons, and more than fifty species of fish. Many migratory birds also make their winter home in the swamp.
Along the coast of the Outer Coastal Plain is where you will find deep harbors which have provided Georgia with a diverse population as well as industries. On this coast is the city of Savannah. Savannah was the largest city in Georgia until the build up in the 1900s.
Because of its unique position, Savannah was instrumental in the growth and economy of Georgia. The Sea Islands which are off the coast of Savannah make up a part of the Intracoastal Waterway. Savannah along with Brunswick handle Georgias foreign trade. Savannah is the nations leading port for naval stores and is the largest ocean port facility on the South Atlantic Coast with over 1700 ships at port each year.
The two main rivers in the Coastal Plain are the Savannah River and the Ogeechee River. Both of these rivers drain into and create the Okefenokee Swamp. Other rivers include the Flint, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Altmaha, Satlila, and the St. Marys.
The Inner Coastal area has good water drainage and is one of the best areas in the state for farming. It has a good supply of underground water and is the major area for agriculture. The soil varies thoughout the region and each soil type helps produce crops specific to that soil. In Vidalia onions are grown that are world
famous for their unique sweet, mild flavor. An area called the Dougherty Plain has richer soil which provides good growing conditions for crops such as peanuts, corn and pecans. Cotton is grown on the Coastal Plain. Cotton production increased rapidlly in the 1990s reaching levels not seen since the 1920s. Recent harvest levels are attributed to a growing demand for cotton as well as higher costs of production on irrigated lands in the west.
Because Georgia was one of the original colonies, many of the first people who lived here were from England. Later because of the port city of Savannah, many people from Europe came straight to Georgia instead of New York like so many others did. Early, many people came from Scotland and Germany then later on from Austria and Switzerland. Many people migrated from the North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsyvania and settled on the coast. Most of these people were of Irish or Scottish descent.
A large percentage of people that live in the Coastal Plain are farmers. Hog and chicken farming account for many of the farmers. The hogs are raised in peanut growing areas and and are fattened on peanuts and vines.
Fishing also employs many people in this area. Brunswick ranks as on of the foremost seafood-processing centers in the Southeast. Shrimps, crabs and oysters are processed at the port and also at Darien and Savannah.
Recreation centers around the water and includes, scuba diving, boating, swimming, and sport fishing. In the Okefenokee Swamp, you will find airboats and kayaks. There are several state parks in the Coastal Plain and they offer hiking/biking trails, canoeing, fishing, golf, tennis and most other types of outdoor recreation
The Coastal Plain area is full of interesting points and people. Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low. Miss Low founded the Girl Scouts of America in 1912. Also in Savannah is the historical district which is famous for its extensive gardens and squares. It was in this part of the the city the movie, In the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed.
Savannah is the oldest settlement in Georgia. It was founded by James Oglethorpe in 1733. One of the first planned cities in the United States, Savannah was designed so that each familys plot fronted on one of a series of public squares. These squares were made into small parks.
Savannah once served as the capital of Georgia and in 1819 the first steamship to cross the Atlantic sailed from there.
Brunswick is a world leader in the freezing and canning of seafood and vegetable and there are two shipyards on the coast. Savannah ranks second after Charleton, S.C. as the largest container port and first in overall tonnage handled.
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