Note September 17th
Historically, societies have always located near water, due partly to the fact that water enables
more efficient travel compared to going over land.
The historical development of water-based transportation is connected to the importance of
domestic and international trade. Early exploration of North America identified large amounts of
natural resources such as fisheries, timber, and furs.
Within the United States, waterways have been developed and integrated into a world-class
transportation system that has been instrumental in the country's economic development. Today,
there are more than 17,700 kilometers of commercially important navigation channels in the
lower 48 states.
Major waterways in the United States:
Mississippi river-The Mississippi River is important for many reasons. It has served as a pivotal form of
transportation in America's history, for one. It also sustains a lot of life and serves as part of the water
cycle, as water flows down it to become part of the ocean.
Ohio river- The Ohio was the route to the west in the years of westward expansion,
Now it is a major trade route for trade and the iron industry.
The Great lakes-The Great Lakes provide a water shipment route of agricultural produce and mineral
and manufactured items from the United States (and Canada) to the World, as well as a water shipment
route for good from other nations to the US. This route is cheaper than land routes, and provides a lower-
cost market for goods transported.
Missouri river-Today, the Jefferson-Mississippi-Missouri River System is used primarily for industrial
transportation, carrying agricultural and manufactured goods, iron, steel, and mine products from one end
of the country to the other.
Gulf of Mexico-The Gulf of Mexico, the ninth largest body of water in the world. The Port of South
Louisiana (New Orleans) and the Port of Houston are two of the ten busiest ports in the world by cargo
volume. Out of the top ten sea ports in the United States 7 are located on the Gulf of Mexico.
Atlantic Ocean-The Atlantic Ocean acted as a geographical "buffer" that made more deliberate
and effective control over the colonists impractical and difficult, thereby, allowing those
colonists who advocated revolution and freedom to freely nurture their plans and ambitions and
see them come to fruition.
Pacific Ocean –The Pacific is a major contributor to the world economy, particularly to those nations its
waters directly touch. It provides low-cost sea transportation between East and West, extensive fishing
grounds, offshore oil and gas fields, minerals, and sand and gravel for the construction industry.
1) it supports variety of ecosystems, including many threatened species populations.
2) It has an economic benefit in terms of recreation, commercial fishing, crab and oyster production, etc.
3) It is historically significant to the development of the US
Potomac River- empties into the Chesapeake bay, important economic watershed and runs
through our nations capital.