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The EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES is the coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean . This area is also known as the EASTERN SEABOARD, the ATLANTIC COAST, and the ATLANTIC SEABOARD. The coastal states that have shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
are, from north to south, Maine
Maine
, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
, Connecticut
Connecticut
, New York , New Jersey
New Jersey
, Delaware
Delaware
, Maryland
Maryland
, Virginia
Virginia
, North Carolina
North Carolina
, South Carolina
South Carolina
, Georgia , and Florida
Florida
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Toponymy and composition * 2 Colonial history * 3 Climate and physical geography * 4 Demographics * 5 Transportation * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References

TOPONYMY AND COMPOSITION

The place name "East Coast" derives from the idea that the contiguous 48 states are defined by two major coastlines, one at the western edge and one on the eastern edge. Other terms for referring to this area include the "Eastern Seaboard" ("seaboard" being American English
American English
for coast ), "Atlantic Coast", and "Atlantic Seaboard" (because the coastline lies along the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
).

The fourteen states that have a shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
are, from north to south, the U.S. states of Maine
Maine
, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
, Connecticut
Connecticut
, New York , New Jersey
New Jersey
, Delaware
Delaware
, Maryland
Maryland
, Virginia
Virginia
, North Carolina
North Carolina
, South Carolina
South Carolina
, Georgia , and Florida
Florida
. In addition, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
and the District of Columbia border tidal arms of the Atlantic (the Delaware
Delaware
River and the Potomac River , respectively).

Although Vermont
Vermont
and West Virginia
Virginia
have no Atlantic coastline, they are sometimes grouped with the Eastern Seaboard states because of their locations in New England
New England
and the Old South
Old South
and their history as part of the land base of the original Thirteen Colonies (viz. the Colony of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
, the Colony of New York and the Colony of Virginia
Virginia
).

COLONIAL HISTORY

The original thirteen colonies of Great Britain in North America
North America
all lay along the East Coast.

Two additional U.S. states on the East Coast
Coast
were not among the original thirteen colonies: Maine
Maine
(became part of the English colony of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
in 1677) and Florida
Florida
(part of New Spain until 1821, though held by the British for 20 years after the French and Indian War ).

The Middle Colonies (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware) had been owned by the Dutch as New Netherland
New Netherland
, until they were captured by the English in the mid-to-late 17th century.

CLIMATE AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

There are three climate regions on the East Coast
Coast
from north to south:

The region from northern Maine
Maine
south to about central Connecticut
Connecticut
has a continental climate , with warm summers and long, cold and snowy winters. The region from southern Connecticut
Connecticut
south to about the Jersey Shore has a temperate climate , with hot summers and more moderately cold winters. The region from southeastern New Jersey
New Jersey
and the Chesapeake Bay region, south to central Florida
Florida
has a humid subtropical climate , with long hot summers and milder winters. The far southern portion of the East Coast
Coast
from south-central Florida southward (Stuart , south through the Florida
Florida
Keys ) has a tropical climate, which is frost free and is warm to hot all year.

Average monthly precipitation ranges from a slight late fall (November) maximum from Massachusetts
Massachusetts
northward (as at Portland, Maine ), to a slight summer maximum from Long Island south to Virginia
Virginia
(as at Wilmington, Delaware
Delaware
, and Norfolk, Virginia
Virginia
), to a more pronounced summer maximum from Cape Hatteras , North Carolina, southward to Savannah, Georgia . Florida
Florida
has a sharp wet-summer/dry-winter pattern, with 60 to 70 percent of precipitation falling between June and October in an average year.

Although landfalls are rare, the Eastern seaboard is susceptible to hurricanes in the Atlantic hurricane season, officially running from June 1 to November 30, although hurricanes can occur before or after these dates. Hurricanes Hazel , Hugo , Bob , Isabel , Irene , and most recently Sandy are some of the more significant storms to have affected the region.

The East Coast
Coast
is a low-relief, passive margin coast. It has been shaped by the Pleistocene glaciation
Pleistocene glaciation
in the far northern areas from New York City northward, with offshore islands such as Nantucket
Nantucket
, Block Island
Block Island
, Fishers Island , the nearly peninsular Long Island and New York City's Staten Island the result of terminal moraines , with Massachusetts' unique peninsula of Cape Cod
Cape Cod
showing the additional action of outwash plains , besides terminal moraines. The coastal plain broadens southwards, separated from the Piedmont region by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the East Coast
Coast
rivers, often marking the head of navigation and prominent sites of cities. The coastal areas from Long Island south to Florida
Florida
are often made up of barrier islands that front the coastal areas. Many of the larger capes along the lower East Coast
Coast
are in fact barrier islands, like the Outer Banks of North Carolina
North Carolina
and Cape Canaveral
Cape Canaveral
, Florida. The Florida
Florida
Keys are made up of limestone coral and provide the only coral reefs on the US mainland.

DEMOGRAPHICS

In 2010, the population of the states which have shoreline on the East Coast
Coast
was estimated at 112,642,503 (36% of the country's total population). The East Coast
Coast
is the most populated coastal area in the United States.

TRANSPORTATION

The primary Interstate Highway along the East Coast
Coast
is Interstate 95 , completed in the late 1970s, which replaced the historic U.S. Route 1 (Atlantic Highway ), the original federal highway that traversed all East Coast
Coast
states (except Delaware). By water, the East Coast
Coast
is connected from Norfolk, Virginia
Virginia
, to Miami, Florida
Florida
, by the Intracoastal Waterway , also known as the East Coast
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.

Some of the largest airports in the United States
United States
are located in states which lie in the East Coast
Coast
of the United States, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Logan International Airport in Boston, Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey, Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport
in Philadelphia, Baltimore–Washington International Airport near Baltimore, Washington-Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Miami International Airport in Miami, Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tampa International Airport in Tampa and Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida.

SEE ALSO

* United States
United States
portal * Geography portal

* Atlantic coastal plain * Atlantic Seaboard fall line * BosWash
BosWash
(Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.) * Northeast megalopolis

NOTES

* ^ Those colonies were New Hampshire, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. While Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
is not directly along the Atlantic shoreline, it borders the tidal portion of the Delaware
Delaware
River , and the city of Philadelphia
Philadelphia
was a major seaport.

REFERENCES

* ^ General Reference Map, National Atlas of the United States , 2003. * ^ " NOAA
NOAA
Chart Locator". National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved Feb 21, 2013. * ^ 1500-1667: Contact & Conflict, Maine
Maine
History Online, Maine Historical Society * ^ A Brief History of Florida: From the Stone Age to the Space Age, Division of Historical Resources, Florida
Florida
Department of State * ^ Neal Dorst. "Frequently Asked Questions: When is hurricane season?". Hurricane Research Division, NOAA
NOAA
. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2016. * ^ Gabler, Robert E.; Petersen, James F.; Trapasso, L. Michael; Sack, Dorothy (2008). Physical Geography. Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning
. p. 575. Retrieved March 14, 2016. * ^ 2010 Census: Resident Population Data Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Let\'s Go Roadtripping USA: The Student Travel Guide. Harvard Student Agencies. p. 31. * ^ "U.S. 1: Fort Kent, Maine
Maine
to Key West, Florida". Federal Highway Administration , U.S. Department of Transportation . April 7, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2016. * ^ "Fun facts about US Route 1" Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine ., Roger's Sport Center, Fort Kent, Maine
Maine
* ^ "US Route 1 – This is where it all begins", Northern Door Inn, Fort Kent * ^ Cappasso, Tony, "America\'s Highway: A Journal of Discovery Along US Route 1" Archived February 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Reiley, Laura (2008). Florida
Florida
Gulf Coast. Moon Handbooks. p. 373. * ^ Maurice J. Robinson. Ponte Vedra Beach: A History. p. 89. * ^ Nixon, Ron (August 15, 2012). "Air Travel\'s Hassles drive riders to Amtrak\'s Acela". The New York Times. (for Acela express passenger numbers only) * ^ "The Information: Most popular airline routes". Financial Times. January 17, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2010.

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