East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard or the Atlantic Seaboard and commonly shortened to East Coast, refers to the easternmost coast of the United States along the Atlantic Ocean. The states which have shoreline on the East Coast are, from north to south, the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The East Coast is a low-relief, passive margin coast. It has been shaped by the Pleistocene glaciation as far south as New York, with offshore islands Nantucket, Block Island, Fishers Island, Long Island and Staten Island the result of terminal moraines. Longshore drift currents have formed an intermittent series of barrier beaches that enclose sounds that stretch from Long Island Sound southward along the unglaciated coast. The coastal plain broadens southwards, separated from the Piedmont districts by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the East Coast rivers, often marking the head of navigation, prominent sites of cities.
Twelve of the original Thirteen Colonies of the United Kingdom in North America that later become the original states of the United States, each founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia), lay along the East Coast.[a] Two additional U.S. states on the East Coast were not among the original Thirteen Colonies: Maine (settled by the French, but later became part of British colony of Massachusetts in 1677) and Florida (which traded hands between the British and Spanish until 1821). The Middle Colonies (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware) had been owned by the Dutch as New Netherland until they were captured by the British in the mid to late 17th century.
The fourteen states which have shoreline on the East Coast are, from north to south, the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Pennsylvania and Vermont have no Atlantic coastlines, but they are grouped with the Eastern Seaboard states.
In 2010, the population of the states which have shoreline on the East Coast was estimated at 112,642,503 (36% of the country's total population).
The primary Interstate Highway along the East Coast is Interstate 95. I-95 (completed in the late 1970s) replaced the historic U.S. Route 1 (Atlantic Highway), which was the original federal highway that traversed all east coast states. By water, the east coast is connected from Norfolk, Virginia to Miami, Florida by the Intracoastal Waterway, also known as the East Coast Canal, which was completed in 1912. Amtrak's Downeaster and Northeast Regional offer the main passenger rail service on the Seaboard. The Acela Express offers the only high speed rail passenger service in the Americas. Between New York and Boston the Acela Express has up to a 54% share of the combined train and air passenger market.
- Those colonies were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay,Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,South Carolina, and Georgia. Pennsylvania is the 13th colony, excluded here because it accesses the coast only via the Delaware River.
- Physical Geography, page 575, Robert E. Gabler, James F. Petersen, L. Michael Trapasso, and Dorothy Sack
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- Frequently Asked Questions: When is hurricane season, Neil Dorst, Hurricane Research Division, NOAA
- 1500-1667: Contact & Conflict, Maine History Online, Maine Historical Society
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- http://www.rogerssportcentermaine.com/custompage.asp?pg=history[unreliable source?]
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- Moon Florida Gulf Coast, page 373, Laura Reiley
- Ponte Vedra Beach: A History, page 89, Maurice J. Robinson
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