Archaic period (North America)
In the classification of the archaeological cultures of North America, the Archaic period or "Meso-Indian period" in North America, taken to last from around 8000 to 1000 BC in the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages, is a period defined by the archaic stage of cultural development. The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies supported through the exploitation of nuts and shellfish; as its ending is defined by the adoption of sedentary farming, this date can vary across the Americas. The rest of the Americas have an Archaic Period; this classification system was first proposed by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in the accepted 1958 book Method and Theory in American Archaeology. In the organization of the system, the Archaic period followed the Lithic stage and is superseded by the Formative stage; the Lithic stage The Archaic stage The Formative stage The Classic stage The Post-Classic stageNumerous local variations have been identified within the cultural rankings.
The period has been subdivided by region and time. For instance, the Archaic Southwest tradition is subdivided into the Dieguito-Pinto, Oshara and Chihuahua cultures. Since the 1990s, secure dating of multiple Middle Archaic sites in northern Louisiana and Florida has challenged traditional models of development. In these areas, hunter-gatherer societies in the Lower Mississippi Valley organized to build monumental earthwork mound complexes as early as 3500 BC, with building continuing over a period of 500 years; such early mound sites as Frenchman's Bend and Hedgepeth were of this time period. Watson Brake is now considered to be the oldest mound complex in the Americas, it precedes. More than 100 sites have been identified as associated with the regional Poverty Point culture of the Late Archaic period, it was part of a regional trading network across the Southeast. Across what is now the Southeastern United States, starting around 4000 BC, people exploited wetland resources, creating large shell middens.
Middens developed where the people lived along rivers, but there is limited evidence of Archaic peoples along the coastlines prior to 3000 BC. Archaic sites on the coast may have been inundated by rising sea levels. Starting around 3000 BC, evidence of large-scale exploitation of oysters appears. During the period 3000 BC to 1000 BC, shell rings, large shell middens that more or less surround open centers, were developed along the coast of the Southeastern United States; these shell rings are numerous in South Carolina and Georgia, but are found scattered around the Florida Peninsula and along the Gulf of Mexico coast as far west as the Pearl River. In some places, such as Horr's Island in Southwest Florida, resources were rich enough to support sizable mound-building communities year-round. Four shell or sand mounds on Horr's Island have been dated to between 4,870 and 4,270 Before Present. Early Archaic8000 BC: The last glacial ends, causing sea levels to rise and flood the Beringia land bridge, closing the primary migration route from Siberia.
8000 BC: Sufficient rain falls on the American Southwest to support many large mammal species--mammoth, a bison species-—that soon go extinct. 8000 BC: Hunters in the American Southwest use the atlatl. 7500 BC: Early basketry. 7560—7370 BC: Kennewick Man dies along the shore of the Columbia River in Washington State, leaving one of the most complete early Native American skeletons. 7000 BC: Northeastern peoples depend on deer and wild grains as the climate warms. 7000 BC: Native Americans in Lahontan Basin, Nevada mummify their dead to give them honor and respect, evidencing deep concern about their treatment and condition. Middle Archaic6500 BC–200 AD: The San Dieguito-Pinto tradition and Chihuahua Tradition flourish in southern California, the Southwest, northwestern Mexico. 6000 BC: Ancestors of Penutian-speaking peoples settle in the Northwestern Plateau. 6000 BC: Nomadic hunting bands roam Subarctic Alaska following herds of caribou and other game animals. 6000 BC: Aleuts begin to arrive in the Aleutian Islands.
5700 BC: Cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama in Oregon. 5500 BC–500 AD Oshara Tradition, a Southwestern Archaic Tradition, arises in north-central New Mexico, the San Juan Basin, the Rio Grande Valley, southern Colorado, southeastern Utah. Natives of the Northwestern Plateau begin to rely on salmon runs. 5000 BC: Early cultivation of food crops began in Mesoamerica. 5000 BC: Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to California develop a fishing economy, with salmon as a staple. 5000 BC: The Old Copper Culture of the Great Lakes area hammers the metal into various tools and ornaments, such as knives, awls, bracelets and pendants. 5000 BC–200 AD: The Cochise Tradition arises in the American Southwest. Native Americans in the northern Great Lakes produce copper tools and utensils traded throughout the Great Plains and Ohio Valley. Shell ornaments and copper items at Indian Knoll in Kentucky evidence an extensive trade system over several millennia. 4000 BC: Inhabitants of Mesoamerica cultivate maize while Peruvian natives cultivate beans and squash.
4000–1000 BC: Old Copper Complex emerges in the Great Lakes region 3500 BC: The largest, oldest drive site at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Canada. 3500–3000 BC: Construction of extensive mound complex built at Watson Brake in the floodplain of the Ouachita River near Monroe in northern Louisiana. Shell ornaments and copper items at Indian Knoll, Kentucky evi
Venison is the meat of a game animal and a deer. Venison can be used to refer to any part of the animal, so long as it can be consumed, including the flesh and internal organs. Venison, much like beef or pork is categorized into specific cuts, including roast and ribs; the word derives from the Latin venari. This term entered English through Norman in the 11th century, following the Norman conquest of England, the establishment of Royal Forests. Venison described meat of any game animal killed by hunting, was applied to any animal from the families Cervidae and Suidae, certain species of the genus Capra. In Southern Africa, the word venison refers to the meat of antelope. There are no native Cervidae in sub-Saharan Africa. Venison may be eaten as steaks, roasts, sausages and minced meat, it has a flavor reminiscent of beef, but can have a gamey note. Venison is leaner than comparable cuts of beef. However, like beef, leaner cuts can be tougher as well. Organ meats of deer can be eaten. Traditionally, they are called umbles.
This is the origins of the phrase "humble pie" a pie made from the organs of the deer. Venison is considered by modern nutritionists to be a healthy meat for human consumption. Since deer are inherently wild animals living on a healthy diet of grass and wild plants, their meat is all-natural and hormone free. Venison is higher in moisture, similar in protein and lower in calories and fat than most cuts of grain-fed beef, pork, or lamb. Since it is unknown whether chronic wasting disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy among deer, can pass from deer to humans through the consumption of venison, there have been some fears of contamination of the food supply. Farmers have had tests developed for the particular species they raise to obtain better results than those used on cattle. Hunters are advised not to shoot a deer that appears sick or is acting strangely and are advised to take general precautions in examining the meat from deer they have killed. Venison jerky can be purchased in some grocery stores or ordered online, is served on some airlines.
Venison burgers are so lean as to require the addition of fat in the form of bacon, olive oil or cheese, or blending with beef, to achieve parity with hamburger cooking time and taste. Venison was considered to be a status symbol among many Europeans. In England, for example, hunting rights were restricted in an effort to preserve property rights; as a result, the possession and sale of venison was regulated under English law. Venison is available in European supermarkets through the traditional hunting season, October to December; the main cuts available to European consumers are derived from the hind leg. In the United States, venison is less common at retail due to the requirement that the animal be first inspected by USDA inspectors. There are few abattoirs which process deer in North America, most of this venison is destined for restaurants. Most venison sold through retail in the United States comes from New Tasmania, it is available through some high-end specialty grocers and some chains which focus on more'natural' meats.
Non-retail venison is obtained through hunting and self-processing or contracting to small meat processing facilities to do the processing for the hunter, but sale of the finished meat is illegal. Arby's gained some attention in October 2016 when word leaked through social media that they were about to test a venison sandwich. Arby's confirmed the offering, selecting 17 stores in Georgia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to offer it during a four-day test during those states' respective hunting seasons. Both due to curiosity and heavy demand from hunters, the sandwiches sold out in all markets on the first day of the test. Venison consumption is sometimes stigmatized by reference to the 1942 Disney movie "Bambi," which personifies wild deer and includes a scene where the title character's mother gets shot and killed by a human hunter; the film implicitly portrays hunters as anti-conservationist. Controversy was somewhat renewed when Disney released a long-awaited sequel to the movie in 2006.
There has been an increase in acceptance and promotion of venison in recent years due to the cited nutritional benefits of wild meat and a growing trend toward the belief that hunting an animal for its meat is more environmentally "correct" than the production of meat through factory farming. Venison Recipes Contributed by Hunters
Okeechobee County, Florida
Okeechobee County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,996; the county seat is Okeechobee. Okeechobee County comprises the Okeechobee, FL Micropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL Combined Statistical Area. Okeechobee County was incorporated in 1917, it was named for Lake Okeechobee, itself named for the Hitchiti words oka and chobi. Historic buildings in Okeechobee County include: First United Methodist Church, 1924 Freedman-Raulerson House, 1923 Okeechobee County Courthouse, 1926 According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 892 square miles, of which 769 square miles is land and 123 square miles is water; the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, runs along the Herbert Hoover Dike around the Lake. Okeechobee County Airport Florida's Turnpike US 98 US 441 CR 68 SR 70 SR 78 SR 710 As of the census of 2010, there were 39,996 people, 13,857 households, 9,016 families residing in the county.
The population density was 46 people per square mile. There were 15,504 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 87.9% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 1.3% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from two or more races. 24.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2005 68.5% of the county population was White non-Hispanic, 21.6% of the population was Latino, 8.0% was African-American and both Native Americans and Asians constituted 0.9% of the population. In 2000 there were 12,593 households out of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.40% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.07. In the county in 2000 the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, 16.30% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 115.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.20 males. In 2010 the median income for a household in the county was $36,929, the median income for a family was $35,163. Males had a median income of $25,574 versus $20,160 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,553. About 11.80% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.90% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over. Okeechobee County is part of the Heartland Library Cooperative which has 7 branches that serve Okeechobee county and some of the surrounding counties, including Glades, Hardee, DeSoto. Avon Park DeSoto Glades Hardee Lake Placid Okeechobee Sebring Okeechobee Cypress Quarters Taylor Creek Florida Heartland National Register of Historic Places listings in Okeechobee County, FloridaTreasure Coast Board of County Commissioners Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners Constitutional Officers Okeechobee County Clerk Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections Okeechobee County Property Appraiser Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Okeechobee County Tax Collector School district School Board of Okeechobee County Countywide District Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District Multi-county Districts Indian River Community College South Florida Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District Heartland Library Cooperative Tampa Bay Library Consortium Judicial Okeechobee County Clerk of Courts Public Defender, 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida State Attorney, 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida Circuit and County Courts for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida Okeechobee Official Discussion Forum D.
R. Wilson Land Company Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council Okeechobee County Guide Okeechobee News local newspaper for Okeechobee County and available in the Florida Digital Newspaper Library
Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, a composition of grasses and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina and Uruguay, the steppe of Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Lands referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America; the term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of Canada, the United States, Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, hillier land to the east. In the U. S. the area is constituted by most or all of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma, sizable parts of the states of Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and western and southern Minnesota. The Palouse of Washington and the Central Valley of California are prairies; the Canadian Prairies occupy vast areas of Manitoba and Alberta. According to Theodore Roosevelt: Prairie is the French word for meadow.
The formation of the North American Prairies started with the uplift of the Rocky Mountains near Alberta. The mountains created a rain shadow; the parent material of most prairie soil was distributed during the last glacial advance that began about 110,000 years ago. The glaciers expanding southward scraped the landscape, picking up geologic material and leveling the terrain; as the glaciers retreated about 10,000 years ago, it deposited this material in the form of till. Wind based loess deposits form an important parent material for prairie soils. Tallgrass prairie evolved over tens of thousands of years with the disturbances of fire. Native ungulates such as bison and white-tailed deer, roamed the expansive, diverse grasslands before European colonization of the Americas. For 10,000-20,000 years, native people used fire annually as a tool to assist in hunting and safety. Evidence of ignition sources of fire in the tallgrass prairie are overwhelmingly human as opposed to lightning. Humans, grazing animals, were active participants in the process of prairie formation and the establishment of the diversity of graminoid and forbs species.
Fire has the effect on prairies of removing trees, clearing dead plant matter, changing the availability of certain nutrients in the soil from the ash produced. Fire kills the vascular tissue of trees, but not prairie species, as up to 75% of the total plant biomass is below the soil surface and will re-grow from its deep roots. Without disturbance, trees will encroach on a grassland and cast shade, which suppresses the understory. Prairie and spaced oak trees evolved to coexist in the oak savanna ecosystem. In spite of long recurrent droughts and occasional torrential rains, the grasslands of the Great Plains were not subject to great soil erosion; the root systems of native prairie grasses held the soil in place to prevent run-off of soil. When the plant died, the fungi, bacteria returned its nutrients to the soil; these deep roots help native prairie plants reach water in the driest conditions. Native grasses suffer much less damage from dry conditions than many farm crops grown. Prairie in North America is split into three groups: wet and dry.
They are characterized by tallgrass prairie, mixed, or shortgrass prairie, depending on the quality of soil and rainfall. In wet prairies, the soil is very moist, including during most of the growing season, because of poor water drainage; the resulting stagnant water is conducive to the formation of fens. Wet prairies have excellent farming soil; the average precipitation is 10–30 inches a year. Mesic prairie good soil during the growing season; this type of prairie is the most converted for agricultural usage. Dry prairie has somewhat wet to dry soil during the growing season because of good drainage in the soil; this prairie can be found on uplands or slopes. Dry soil doesn't get much vegetation due to lack of rain; this is the dominant biome in the Southern Canadian agricultural and climatic region known as Palliser's Triangle. Once thought to be unarable, the Triangle is now one of the most important agricultural regions in Canada thanks to advances in irrigation technology. In addition to its high local importance to Canada, Palliser's Triangle is now one of the most important sources of wheat in the world as a result of these improved methods of watering wheat fields.
Despite these advances in farming technology, the area is still prone to extended periods of drought, which can be disastrous for the industry if it is prolonged. An infamous example of this is the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, which hit much of the United States great plains ecoregion - contributing to the Great Depression. Nomadic hunting has been the main human activity on the prairies for the majority of the archaeological record; this once included many now-extinct species of megafauna. After the other extinction, the main hunted animal on the prairies was the plains bison. Using loud noises and waving large signals, Native peoples would drive bison in fenced pens called to be killed with bows and arrows or spears, or drive them off a cliff, to kill or injure the bison en masse. Th
The Kissimmee River is a river in south-central Florida, United States. The Kissimmee River arises in Osceola County as the outflow from East Lake Tohopekaliga, passing through Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Cypress, Lake Hatchineha and Lake Kissimmee. Below Lake Kissimmee, the river forms the boundary between Osceola County and Polk County, between Highlands County and Okeechobee County, between Glades County and Okeechobee County before it flows into Lake Okeechobee; the river was 134 miles in length, 103 miles of, between Lake Kissimmee and Lake Okeechobee. It forms the headwaters of the Kissimmee River-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades ecosystem; the Kissimmee River watershed of 3,000 square miles is adjacent to the Eastern Continental Divide, with triple watershed points at the Miami and Peace rivers' watersheds and the Lake Okeechobee watershed. The floodplain of the river supports a diverse community of waterfowl, wading birds and other wildlife; the 1947 Atlantic hurricane season, which included the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane and the 1947 October Hurricane, produced heavy rainfall and flooding over most of central and southern Florida.
Florida requested federal assistance in controlling future floods, in 1954 the United States Congress authorized the canalization of the Kissimmee River. From 1962 to 1970 the United States Army Corps of Engineers dredged the C-38 Canal down the Kissimmee valley, shortening the 103-mile distance from Lake Kissimmee to Lake Okeechobee to just 56 miles, it has since been realized that this project damaged the river, with the faster water flow leading to major environmental problems in the Kissimmee Valley and Lake Okeechobee. Efforts are underway to reverse the process and re-introduce the many oxbows in the river that slowed the water. After the river channel was straightened, 40,000 acres of floodplain below Lake Kissimmee dried out, reducing the quality of waterfowl habitat by ninety percent, the number of herons and wood storks by two-thirds. Catches of largemouth bass in the river were worse after the channelization. While the Kissimmee was not a significant source of pollution for Lake Okeechobee before channelization, in the 1970s and the river contributed about 25% of the nitrogen and 20% of the phosphorus flowing into the lake.
In protest to the canalization of the river and its resultant damage to the habitat, Florida author Piers Anthony based the plot of the tenth Xanth novel, Vale of the Vole, around the straightening of the "Kiss-Mee River," an obvious parody to "Kissimmee." The river was mentioned in a lyric of Josh Turner's song "Alligator Stroll". Efforts to restore the Kissimmee River to its original flow were approved by Congress in 1992, began with modification to the headwater lakes in 1997; the United States Army Corps of Engineers had hoped to complete the project in 2015. In 2006, the South Florida Water Management District had acquired enough land along the river and in the upper chain of lakes to complete restoration. In all, 43 miles of the Kissimmee River will be restored. A 2009 Report from the Corps of Engineers goes into detail with the issues and plans for the Kissimmee River restoration. Wildlife is returning to the restored sections of river; when flooding began again and smothering aquatic weeds were flushed out.
Sandbars reemerged. Encroaching dry land trees began dying back. Once-dormant plants began to reestablish themselves; the species included pink-tipped smartweed, sedges, arrowhead, duck potato and pickerel weed. Flooding and continuous flow increased levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, creating near perfect conditions for aquatic invertebrates such as insects, works and freshwater shrimp. This, in turn, boosted fish populations and it led to a rise in bird and alligator populations; the entire food chain benefitted. This is one reason that the Kissimmee River restoration is considered to be the largest true ecosystem restoration project in the world, attracting ecologists from other states and countries. Camp Mack's River Resort Kissimmee River information from the South Florida Water Management District Kissimmee River Restoration Project information from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleoamericans is a classification term given by scholars to the first peoples who entered, subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. The prefix "paleo-" comes from the Greek adjective palaios, meaning "old" or "ancient"; the term "Paleo-Indians" applies to the lithic period in the Western Hemisphere and is distinct from the term "Paleolithic". Traditional theories suggest that big-animal hunters crossed the Bering Strait from North Asia into the Americas over a land-and-ice bridge; this bridge existed from 45,000–12,000 BCE. Small isolated groups of hunter-gatherers migrated alongside herds of large herbivores far into Alaska. From c. 16,500 – c. 13,500 BCE, ice-free corridors developed along the Pacific coast and valleys of North America. This allowed animals, followed by humans; the people used primitive boats along the coastline. The precise dates and routes of the peopling of the New World remain subjects of ongoing debate.
Stone tools projectile points and scrapers, are the primary evidence of the earliest human activity in the Americas. Archaeologists and anthropologists use surviving crafted lithic flaked tools to classify cultural periods. Scientific evidence links Indigenous Americans to eastern Siberian populations. Indigenous peoples of the Americas have been linked to Siberian populations by linguistic factors, the distribution of blood types, in genetic composition as reflected by molecular data, such as DNA. There is evidence for at least two separate migrations. From 8000–7000 BCE the climate stabilized, leading to a rise in population and lithic technology advances, resulting in more sedentary lifestyle; the specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. The traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into Beringia between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska 17,000 years ago, when sea levels were lowered due to the Quaternary glaciation.
These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Another route proposed is that, either on foot or using primitive boats, they migrated down the Pacific coast to South America. Evidence of the latter would since have been covered by a sea level rise of hundreds of meters following the last ice age. Archaeologists contend that Paleo-Indians migrated out of Beringia, ranging from c. 40,000 – c. 16,500 years ago. This time range promises to continue as such for years to come; the few agreements achieved to date are the origin from Central Asia, with widespread habitation of the Americas during the end of the last glacial period, or more what is known as the late glacial maximum, around 16,000–13,000 years before present. However, alternative theories about the origins of Paleoindians exist, including migration from Europe. Sites in Alaska are where some of the earliest evidence has been found of Paleo-Indians, followed by archaeological sites in northern British Columbia, western Alberta and the Old Crow Flats region in the Yukon.
The Paleo-Indian would flourish all over the Americas. These peoples were spread over a wide geographical area. However, all the individual groups shared a common style of stone tool production, making knapping styles and progress identifiable; this early Paleo-Indian period lithic reduction tool adaptations have been found across the Americas, utilized by mobile bands consisting of 20 to 60 members of an extended family. Food would have been plentiful during the few warm months of the year. Lakes and rivers were teeming with many species of fish and aquatic mammals. Nuts and edible roots could be found in the forests and marshes; the fall would have been a busy time because foodstuffs would have to be stored and clothing made ready for the winter. During the winter, coastal fishing groups trap fresh food and furs. Late ice age climatic changes caused plant communities and animal populations to change. Groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought.
Small bands utilized hunting and gathering during the spring and summer months broke into smaller direct family groups for the fall and winter. Family groups moved every 3–6 days traveling up to 360 km a year. Diets were sustaining and rich in protein due to successful hunting. Clothing was made from a variety of animal hides that were used for shelter construction. During much of the Early and Middle Paleo-Indian periods, inland bands are thought to have subsisted through hunting now-extinct megafauna. Large Pleistocene mammals were the giant beaver, steppe wisent, musk ox, woolly mammoths and ancient reindeer; the Clovis culture, appearing around 11,500 BCE, undoubtedly did not rely on megafauna for subsistence. Instead, they employed a mixed foraging strategy that included smaller terrestrial game, aquatic animals, a variety of flora. Paleo-Indian groups carried a variety of tools; these included efficient fluted style spear points, as well as microblades used for butchering and hide processing.
Projectile points and hammerstones made from many sources are found traded or moved to new locations. Stone tools were traded and/or left behind fro
A swamp is a wetland, forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes; some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more termed a bog, fen, or muskeg; the water of a swamp may be brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Congo. A marsh is a wetland composed of grasses and reeds found near the fringes of lakes and streams, serving as a transitional area between land and aquatic ecosystems. A swamp is a wetland composed of shrubs found along large rivers and lake shores. Swamps are characterized by slow-moving to stagnant waters.
Many adjoin rivers or lakes. Swamps are features of areas with low topographic relief. Humans have drained swamps to provide additional land for agriculture and to reduce the threat of diseases borne by swamp insects and similar animals. Many swamps have undergone intensive logging, requiring the construction of drainage ditches and canals; these ditches and canals contributed to drainage and, along the coast, allowed salt water to intrude, converting swamps to marsh or to open water. Large areas of swamp were therefore degraded. Louisiana provides a classic example of wetland loss from these combined factors. Europe has lost nearly half its wetlands. New Zealand lost 90 percent of its wetlands over a period of 150 years. Ecologists recognise that swamps provide valuable ecological services including flood control, fish production, water purification, carbon storage, wildlife habitat. In many parts of the world authorities protect swamps. In parts of Europe and North America, swamp restoration projects are becoming widespread.
The simplest steps to restoring swamps involve plugging drainage ditches and removing levees. Swamps and other wetlands have traditionally held a low property value compared to fields, prairies, or woodlands, they have a reputation for being unproductive land that cannot be utilized for human activities, other than hunting and trapping. Farmers, for example drained swamps next to their fields so as to gain more land usable for planting crops. Many societies now realize that swamps are critically important to providing fresh water and oxygen to all life, that they are breeding grounds for a wide variety of species. Indeed, floodplain swamps are important in fish production. Government environmental agencies are taking steps to protect and preserve swamps and other wetlands. In Europe, major effort is being invested in the restoration of swamp forests along rivers. Conservationists work to preserve swamps such as those in northwest Indiana in the United States Midwest that were preserved as part of the Indiana Dunes.
The problem of invasive species has been put into greater light such as in places like the Everglades. Swamps can be found on all continents except Antarctica; the largest swamp in the world is the Amazon River floodplain, significant for its large number of fish and tree species. The Sudd and the Okavango Delta are Africa's best known marshland areas; the Bangweulu Floodplains make up Africa's largest swamp. The Tigris-Euphrates river system is a large swamp and river system in southern Iraq, traditionally inhabited in part by the Marsh Arabs. In Asia, tropical peat swamps are located in mainland East Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, peatlands are found in low altitude coastal and sub-coastal areas and extend inland for distance more than 100 km along river valleys and across watersheds, they are to be found on the coasts of East Sumatra, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Peninsular Malaya, Sarawak, Southeast Thailand, the Philippines. Indonesia has the largest area of tropical peatland. Of the total 440,000 km2 tropical peat swamp, about 210,000 km2 are located in Indonesia.
The Vasyugan Swamp is a large swamp in the western Siberia area of the Russian Federation. This is one of the largest swamps in the world; the Atchafalaya Swamp at the lower end of the Mississippi River is the largest swamp in the United States. It is an important example of southern cypress swamp but it has been altered by logging and levee construction. Other famous swamps in the United States are the forested portions of the Everglades, Okefenokee Swamp, Barley Barber Swamp, Great Cypress Swamp and the Great Dismal Swamp; the Okefenokee is located in extreme southeastern Georgia and extends into northeastern Florida. The Great Cypress Swamp is in Delaware but extends into Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Point Lookout State Park on the southern tip of Maryland contains a large amount of swamps and marshes; the Great Dismal Swamp lies in extreme southeastern Virginia and extreme northeastern North Carolina. Both are National Wildlife Refuges. Another swamp area, Reelfoot Lake of extreme western Tennessee and Kentucky, was created by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes.
Caddo Lake, the Great Dismal and Reelfoot are swamps. Swamps are called bayous in the southeastern United States in the Gulf Coast region; the worl