Gulf Coast of the United States
The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Mississippi and Florida, these are known as the Gulf States; the economy of the Gulf Coast area is dominated by industries related to energy, fishing, aerospace and tourism. The large cities of the region are McAllen, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Petersburg and Sarasota. All contain large ports; the Gulf Coast is made of many inlets and lagoons. The coast is intersected by numerous rivers, the largest of, the Mississippi River. Much of the land along the Gulf Coast is, or marshland. Ringing the Gulf Coast is the Gulf Coastal Plain which reaches from Southern Texas to the western Florida Panhandle while the western portions of the Gulf Coast are made up of many barrier islands and peninsulas, including the 130 miles Padre Island and Galveston Island located in the U.
S. State of Texas; these landforms protect numerous inlets providing as a barrier to oncoming waves. The central part of the Gulf Coast, from eastern Texas through Louisiana, consists of marshland; the eastern part of the Gulf Coast, predominantly Florida, is dotted with many inlets. The Gulf Coast climate is humid subtropical, although the southwestern tip of Florida, such as Everglades City, features a tropical climate. Much of the year is warm to hot along the Gulf Coast, while the 3 winter months bring periods of cool weather mixed with mild temperatures; the area is vulnerable to severe thunderstorms. Much of the Gulf Coast has a summer precipitation maximum, with July or August the wettest month due to the combination of frequent summer thunderstorms produced by relentless heat and humidity, tropical weather systems, while winter and early spring rainfall can be heavy; this pattern is evident at Houston, New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola, Florida. However, the central and southern Florida peninsula has a pronounced winter dry season, as at Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.
On the central and southern Texas coast, early spring and mid-summer are markedly drier, September is the wettest month on average. Tornadoes do occur. Over most of the Gulf Coast from Houston, Texas eastward, extreme rainfall events are a significant threat from tropical weather systems, which can bring 4 to 10 or more inches of rain in a single day. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the central Texas coast migrated to and stalled over the greater Houston area for several days, producing extreme, unprecedented rainfall totals of over 40 inches in many areas, unleashing widespread flooding. Earthquakes are rare to the area, but a surprising 6.0 earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico on September 10, 2006, could be felt from the cities of New Orleans to Tampa. The Gulf Coast is a major center of economic activity; the marshlands along the Louisiana and Texas coasts provide breeding grounds and nurseries for ocean life that drive the fishing and shrimping industries. The Port of South Louisiana and the Port of Houston are two of the ten busiest ports in the world by cargo volume.
As of 2004, seven of the top ten busiest ports in the U. S. are on the Gulf Coast. The discovery of oil and gas deposits along the coast and offshore, combined with easy access to shipping, have made the Gulf Coast the heart of the U. S. petrochemical industry. The coast contains nearly 4,000 oil platforms. Besides the above, the region features other important industries including aerospace and biomedical research, as well as older industries such as agriculture and — since the development of the Gulf Coast beginning in the 1920s and the increase in wealth throughout the United States — tourism. Before Europeans arrived in the region, the region was home to several pre-Columbian kingdoms that had extensive trade networks with empires such as the Aztecs and the Mississippi Mound Builders. Shark and alligator teeth and shells from the Gulf have been found as far north as Ohio, in the mounds of the Hopewell culture; the first Europeans to settle the Gulf Coast were the French and the Spanish. The Louisiana Purchase, Adams–Onís Treaty and the Texas Revolution made the Gulf Coast a part of the United States during the first half of the 19th century.
As the U. S. population continued to expand its frontiers westward, the Gulf Coast was a natural magnet in the South providing access to shipping lanes and both national and international commerce. The development of sugar and cotton production allowed the South to prosper. By the mid 19th century the city of New Orleans, being situated as a key to commerce on the Mississippi River and in the Gulf, had become the largest U. S. city not on the Atlantic seaboard and the fourth largest in the U. S. overall. Two major events were turning points in the earlier history of the Gulf Coast region; the first was the American Civil War, which caused severe damage to some economic sectors in the South, including the Gulf Coast. The second event was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. At the end of
An algal bloom or algae bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems, is recognized by the discoloration in the water from their pigments. Cyanobacteria were mistaken for algae in the past, so cyanobacterial blooms are sometimes called algal blooms. Blooms which can injure animals or the ecology are called "harmful algal blooms", can lead to fish die-offs, cities cutting off water to residents, or states having to close fisheries. A bloom can block out the sunlight from other organisms, deplete oxygen levels in the water; some algae secrete poisons into the water. Since'algae' is a broad term including organisms of varying sizes, growth rates and nutrient requirements, there is no recognized threshold level as to what is defined as a bloom. For some species, algae can be considered to be blooming at concentrations reaching millions of cells per milliliter, while others form blooms of tens of thousands of cells per liter; the photosynthetic pigments in the algal cells determine the color of the algal bloom, are thus a greenish color, but they can be a wide variety of other colors such as yellow, brown or red, depending on the species of algae and the type of pigments contained therein.
Bright green blooms in freshwater systems are a result of cyanobacteria such as Microcystis. Blooms may consist of macroalgal species; these blooms are recognizable by large blades of algae. Of particular note are the rare harmful algal blooms, which are algal bloom events involving toxic or otherwise harmful phytoplankton such as dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium and Karenia, or diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia; such blooms take on a red or brown hue and are known colloquially as red tides. Freshwater algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients some phosphates; the excess of nutrients may originate from fertilizers that are applied to land for agricultural or recreational purposes. They may originate from household cleaning products containing phosphorus; these nutrients can enter watersheds through water runoff. Excess carbon and nitrogen have been suspected as causes. Presence of residual sodium carbonate acts as catalyst for the algae to bloom by providing dissolved carbon dioxide for enhanced photosynthesis in the presence of nutrients.
When phosphates are introduced into water systems, higher concentrations cause increased growth of algae and plants. Algae tend to grow quickly under high nutrient availability, but each alga is short-lived, the result is a high concentration of dead organic matter which starts to decay; the decay process consumes dissolved oxygen in the water. Without sufficient dissolved oxygen in the water and plants may die off in large numbers. Use of an Olszewski tube can help combat these problems with hypolimnetic withdrawal. Blooms may be observed in freshwater aquariums when fish are overfed and excess nutrients are not absorbed by plants; these are harmful for fish, the situation can be corrected by changing the water in the tank and reducing the amount of food given. A harmful algal bloom is an algal bloom that causes negative impacts to other organisms via production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to other organisms, or by other means. HABs are associated with large-scale marine mortality events and have been associated with various types of shellfish poisonings.
In studies at the population level bloom coverage has been related to the risk of non-alcoholic liver disease death. In the marine environment, single-celled, plant-like organisms occur in the well-lit surface layer of any body of water; these organisms, referred to as phytoplankton or microalgae, form the base of the food web upon which nearly all other marine organisms depend. Of the 5000+ species of marine phytoplankton that exist worldwide, about 2% are known to be harmful or toxic. Blooms of harmful algae can have large and varied impacts on marine ecosystems, depending on the species involved, the environment where they are found, the mechanism by which they exert negative effects. Harmful algal blooms have been observed to cause adverse effects to a wide variety of aquatic organisms, most notably marine mammals, sea turtles and finfish; the impacts of HAB toxins on these groups can include harmful changes to their developmental, neurological, or reproductive capacities. The most conspicuous effects of HABs on marine wildlife are large-scale mortality events associated with toxin-producing blooms.
For example, a mass mortality event of 107 bottlenose dolphins occurred along the Florida panhandle in the spring of 2004 due to ingestion of contaminated menhaden with high levels of brevetoxin. Manatee mortalities have been attributed to brevetoxin but unlike dolphins, the main toxin vector was endemic seagrass species in which high concentrations of brevetoxins were detected and subsequently found as a main component of the stomach contents of manatees. Additional marine mammal species, like the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, have been exposed to neurotoxins by preying on contaminated zooplankton. With the summertime habitat of this species overlapping with seasonal blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense, subsequent copepod grazing, foraging right whales will ingest large concentrations of these contaminated copepods. Ingestion of such contaminated prey can affect respiratory capabilities, feeding behavior, the reprod
Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses referred to collectively as grass. Poaceae includes the cereal grasses and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns and pasture. Grasses have stems that are hollow except at the nodes and narrow alternate leaves borne in two ranks; the lower part of each leaf encloses the stem. With around 780 genera and around 12,000 species, Poaceae are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae and Rubiaceae. Grasslands such as savannah and prairie where grasses are dominant are estimated to constitute 40.5% of the land area of the Earth, excluding Greenland and Antarctica. Grasses are an important part of the vegetation in many other habitats, including wetlands and tundra; the Poaceae are the most economically important plant family, providing staple foods from domesticated cereal crops such as maize, rice and millet as well as forage, building materials and fuel.
Though they are called "grasses", seagrasses and sedges fall outside this family. The rushes and sedges are related to the Poaceae, being members of the order Poales, but the seagrasses are members of order Alismatales; the name Poaceae was given by John Hendley Barnhart in 1895, based on the tribe Poeae described in 1814 by Robert Brown, the type genus Poa described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus. The term is derived from the Ancient Greek πόα. Grasses include some of the most versatile plant life-forms, they became widespread toward the end of the Cretaceous period, fossilized dinosaur dung have been found containing phytoliths of a variety that include grasses that are related to modern rice and bamboo. Grasses have adapted to conditions in lush rain forests, dry deserts, cold mountains and intertidal habitats, are the most widespread plant type. A cladogram shows subfamilies and approximate species numbers in brackets: Before 2005, fossil findings indicated that grasses evolved around 55 million years ago.
Recent findings of grass-like phytoliths in Cretaceous dinosaur coprolites have pushed this date back to 66 million years ago. In 2011, revised dating of the origins of the rice tribe Oryzeae suggested a date as early as 107 to 129 Mya. Wu, You & Li described grass microfossils extracted from a specimen of the hadrosauroid dinosaur Equijubus normani from the Early Cretaceous Zhonggou Formation; the authors noted that India became separated from Antarctica, therefore all other continents at the beginning of late Aptian, so the presence of grasses in both India and China during the Cretaceous indicates that the ancestor of Indian grasses must have existed before late Aptian. Wu, You & Li considered the Barremian origin for grasses to be probableThe relationships among the three subfamilies Bambusoideae and Pooideae in the BOP clade have been resolved: Bambusoideae and Pooideae are more related to each other than to Oryzoideae; this separation occurred within the short time span of about 4 million years.
According to Lester Charles King the spread of grasses in the Late Cenozoic would have changed patterns of hillslope evolution favouring slopes that are convex upslope and concave downslope and lacking a free face were common. King argued that this was the result of more acting surface wash caused by carpets of grass which in turn would have resulted in more soil creep. Grasses may be annual or perennial herbs with the following characteristics: The stems of grasses, called culms, are cylindrical and are hollow, plugged at the nodes, where the leaves are attached. Grass leaves are nearly always alternate and distichous, have parallel veins; each leaf is differentiated into a lower sheath hugging a blade with entire margins. The leaf blades of many grasses are hardened with silica phytoliths, which discourage grazing animals. A membranous appendage or fringe of hairs called the ligule lies at the junction between sheath and blade, preventing water or insects from penetrating into the sheath. Flowers of Poaceae are characteristically arranged in each having one or more florets.
The spikelets are further grouped into spikes. The part of the spikelet that bears the florets is called the rachilla. A spikelet consists of two bracts at called glumes, followed by one or more florets. A floret consists of the flower surrounded by two bracts, one external—the lemma—and one internal—the palea; the flowers are hermaphroditic—maize being an important exception—and anemophilous or wind-pollinated, although insects play a role. The perianth is reduced to two scales, called lodicules, that expand and contract to spread the lemma and palea; this complex structure can be seen in the image on the right. The fruit of grasses is a caryopsis. A tiller is a leafy shoot other than the first shoot produced from the seed. Grass blades grow at the base of the blade and not from elongated stem tips; this low growth point evolved in response to grazing animals and allows grasses to be grazed or mown without severe damage to the plant. Three general classifications of growth habit present in g
Kittery Point, Maine
Kittery Point is a census-designated place in the town of Kittery, York County, United States. First settled in 1623, Kittery Point traces its history to the first seafarers who colonized the shore of what became Massachusetts Bay Colony and the State of Maine. Located beside the Atlantic Ocean, it is home to Fort McClary State Historic Site, Fort Foster Park on Gerrish Island. Cutts Island is home to Seapoint Beach and the Brave Boat Harbor Division of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Kittery Point is Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area; the population was 1,012 at the 2010 census. First settled as early as 1623, the southern part of Kittery was once called Champernowne's after Sir Francis Champernowne, a prominent merchant adventurer and cousin of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the prime mover behind settlement north of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Nicholas Shapleigh built the first house in the area, Edward Godfrey established a trading post in 1632. Early professions included fishermen and trappers.
Others harvested the region's abundant timber, shipped to England or the West Indies. The town of Kittery was incorporated in 1652; the Pepperrells were a distinguished Kittery Point family who established fisheries to supply the London market. William Pepperrell Sr. had arrived from Devonshire as a lowly fisherman's apprentice at the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire. He went on to build a mercantile empire, which his son Sir William Pepperrell inherited and expanded. Sir William became the first baronet in New England for commanding a militia which defeated the French in 1745 at the Siege of Louisbourg, his gambrel mansion of 1733 remains a landmark at Pepperrell Cove on the Piscataqua River. In 1760, his widow built the Lady Pepperrell House, a noted Georgian building owned by Historic New England. Pepperrell himself built an elaborate wooden house called the Sparhawk Mansion at Kittery Point as a gift to his daughter on her marriage to Nathaniel Sparhawk in 1750. Crowned with an elegant cupola, the house contained finely carved panelling in its 19 rooms.
Sadly, over two centuries in 1967 the Sparhawk Mansion was demolished, just as preservation efforts in the area were emerging. More fortunate is the John Bray House, built by a shipwright in 1662 and considered the oldest surviving house in Maine. Threatened with redevelopment because of its desirable view of Pepperrell Cove and Portsmouth Harbor, the building has instead been restored; some speculate that the Bray House was the birthplace of the mother of Sir William Pepperrell, whose father William Pepperrell Sr. married John Bray's daughter Margery, but it is more that she was born in England. On land once owned by Sir William Pepperrell is a Portsmouth Harbor defense called Fort McClary, built opposite Fort Constitution in New Castle, New Hampshire, it is today Fort McClary State Historic Site and features a blockhouse dating from 1844. In 1969, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Foster, a coastal defense, was built by the federal government on 92 acres at Gerrish Island.
Now owned by the town of Kittery, Fort Foster Park provides superb views of Portsmouth Harbor, Whaleback Lighthouse and the Isles of Shoals, part of which belongs to Kittery. Near Seapoint Beach in the mid-20th century, the Newcomen Society built a cluster of Tudor cottages at what was its summer retreat. Frisbee's 1828 Supermarket, once the nation's oldest family-owned and run grocery store, was founded in 1828 by Frank C. Frisbee I, brothers; the store is located on Route 103 in Kittery Point, just minutes from Historic Fort McClary and Fort Foster. John Haley Bellamy and folk artist Gene McDaniels, musician Sir William Pepperrell and soldier Celia Thaxter and writer John Treworgie, trading post agent and politician Helen Magill White, first American female Ph. D Kittery Point is located at 43°5′7″N 70°42′6″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.6 square miles, of which 1.9 square miles is land and 1.7 square kilometres is water. Kittery Point is bounded by Spruce Creek, the Piscataqua River, the Atlantic Ocean and Brave Boat Harbor.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,135 people, 538 households, 322 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 230.6/km². There were 594 housing units at an average density of 120.7/km². The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.44% White, 0.97% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.09% from other races, 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population. There were 538 households out of which 19.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.0% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.64. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 32.5% from 45 to 64, 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $47,500, the median income for a family was $53,839. Males had a median income of $40,417 versus $29,808 for females; the per capita income for the CDP was $30,119. About 4.7% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line
The Cyperaceae are a family of graminoid, monocotyledonous flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble the related rushes and the more distantly related grasses. The family is large, with some 5,500 known species described in about 90 genera, the largest being the "true sedges" genus Carex with over 2,000 species; these species are distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South America. While sedges may be found growing in all environments, many are associated with wetlands, or with poor soils. Ecological communities dominated by sedges are known as sedgelands. Features distinguishing members of the sedge family from grasses or rushes are stems with triangular cross-sections and leaves that are spirally arranged in three ranks; some well-known sedges include the water chestnut and the papyrus sedge, from which the writing material papyrus was made. This family includes cotton-grass, spike-rush, nutsedge or nutgrass, white star sedge.
Cyperaceae at The Plant List Cyperaceae at The Families of Flowering Plants Cyperaceae at the Encyclopedia of Life Cyperaceae at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website Cyperaceae at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Cyperaceae at the online Flora of North America Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Michigan Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Northern Ireland Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Zimbabwe Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Western Australia Cyperaceae at the online Flora of New South Wales Cyperaceae at the online Flora of New Zealand Cyperaceae at Flowers in Israel
A salt marsh or saltmarsh known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh, is a coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open saltwater or brackish water, flooded by the tides. It is dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as grasses, or low shrubs; these plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh in trapping and binding sediments. Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food web and the delivery of nutrients to coastal waters, they support terrestrial animals and provide coastal protection. Salt marshes occur on low-energy shorelines in temperate and high-latitudes which can be stable, emerging, or submerging depending if the sedimentation is greater, equal to, or lower than relative sea level rise, respectively; these shorelines consist of mud or sand flats which are nourished with sediment from inflowing rivers and streams. These include sheltered environments such as embankments and the leeward side of barrier islands and spits.
In the tropics and sub-tropics they are replaced by mangroves. Most salt marshes have a low topography with low elevations but a vast wide area, making them hugely popular for human populations. Salt marshes are located among different landforms based on their physical and geomorphological settings; such marsh landforms include deltaic marshes, back-barrier, open coast and drowned-valley marshes. Deltaic marshes are associated with large rivers where many occur in Southern Europe such as the Camargue, France in the Rhone delta or the Ebro delta in Spain, they are extensive within the rivers of the Mississippi Delta in the United States. In New Zealand, most salt marshes occur at the head of estuaries in areas where there is little wave action and high sedimentation; such marshes are located in Awhitu Regional Park in Auckland, the Manawatu Estuary, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary in Christchurch. Back-barrier marshes are sensitive to the reshaping of barriers in the landward side of which they have been formed.
They are common along much of the eastern coast of the Frisian Islands. Large, shallow coastal embayments can hold salt marshes with examples including Morecambe Bay and Portsmouth in Britain and the Bay of Fundy in North America. Salt marshes are sometimes included in lagoons, the difference is not marked, they have a big impact on the biodiversity of the area. Salt marsh ecology involves complex food webs which include primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers; the low physical energy and high grasses provide a refuge for animals. Many marine fish use salt marshes as nursery grounds for their young before they move to open waters. Birds may raise their young among the high grasses, because the marsh provides both sanctuary from predators and abundant food sources which include fish trapped in pools, insects and worms. Saltmarshes across 99 countries were mapped by al.. 2017. A total of 5,495,089 hectares of mapped saltmarsh across 43 countries and territories are represented in a Geographic Information Systems polygon shapefile.
This estimate is at the low end of previous estimates. The most extensive saltmarshes worldwide are found outside the tropics, notably including the low-lying, ice-free coasts and estuaries of the North Atlantic which are well represented in their global polygon dataset; the formation begins as tidal flats gain elevation relative to sea level by sediment accretion, subsequently the rate and duration of tidal flooding decreases so that vegetation can colonize on the exposed surface. The arrival of propagules of pioneer species such as seeds or rhizome portions are combined with the development of suitable conditions for their germination and establishment in the process of colonisation; when rivers and streams arrive at the low gradient of the tidal flats, the discharge rate reduces and suspended sediment settles onto the tidal flat surface, helped by the backwater effect of the rising tide. Mats of filamentous blue-green algae can fix silt and clay sized sediment particles to their sticky sheaths on contact which can increase the erosion resistance of the sediments.
This assists the process of sediment accretion to allow colonising species to grow. These species retain sediment washed in from the rising tide around their stems and leaves and form low muddy mounds which coalesce to form depositional terraces, whose upward growth is aided by a sub-surface root network which binds the sediment. Once vegetation is established on depositional terraces further sediment trapping and accretion can allow rapid upward growth of the marsh surface such that there is an associated rapid decrease in the depth and duration of tidal flooding; as a result, competitive species that prefer higher elevations relative to sea level can inhabit the area and a succession of plant communities develops. Coastal salt marshes can be distinguished from terrestrial habitats by the daily tidal flow that occurs and continuously floods the area, it is an important process in delivering sediments and plant water supply to the marsh. At higher elevations in the upper marsh zone, there is much less tidal inflow, resulting in lower salinity levels