North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Wisconsin is a U. S. state located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 20th most populous; the state capital is Madison, its largest city is Milwaukee, located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties. Wisconsin's geography is diverse, having been impacted by glaciers during the Ice Age with the exception of the Driftless Area; the Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupies the western part of the state, with lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European settlers entered the state, many of whom emigrated from Germany and Scandinavia. Like neighboring Minnesota, the state remains a center of German American and Scandinavian American culture.
Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland" because it is one of the nation's leading dairy producers famous for its cheese. Manufacturing, information technology, cranberries and tourism are major contributors to the state's economy; the word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian-speaking Native American groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. Subsequent French writers changed the spelling from Meskousing to Ouisconsin, over time this became the name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling from Ouisconsin to Wisconsin when they began to arrive in large numbers during the early 19th century; the legislature of Wisconsin Territory made the current spelling official in 1845. The Algonquin word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure.
Interpretations vary. One leading theory holds that the name originated from the Miami word Meskonsing, meaning "it lies red", a reference to the setting of the Wisconsin River as it flows through the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells. Other theories include claims that the name originated from one of a variety of Ojibwa words meaning "red stone place", "where the waters gather", or "great rock". Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past 14,000 years; the first people arrived around 10,000 BCE during the Wisconsin Glaciation. These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians, hunted now-extinct ice age animals such as the Boaz mastodon, a prehistoric mastodon skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. After the ice age ended around 8000 BCE, people in the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting and gathering food from wild plants. Agricultural societies emerged over the Woodland period between 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape.
Between 1000 and 1500 CE, the Mississippian and Oneota cultures built substantial settlements including the fortified village at Aztalan in southeast Wisconsin. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Ioway and Ho-Chunk tribes who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee at the time of European contact. Other Native American groups living in Wisconsin when Europeans first settled included the Ojibwa, Fox and Pottawatomie, who migrated to Wisconsin from the east between 1500 and 1700; the first European to visit what became Wisconsin was the French explorer Jean Nicolet. He canoed west from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes in 1634, it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay at Red Banks. Pierre Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers visited Green Bay again in 1654–1666 and Chequamegon Bay in 1659–1660, where they traded for fur with local Native Americans. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet became the first to record a journey on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway all the way to the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien.
Frenchmen like Nicholas Perrot continued to ply the fur trade across Wisconsin through the 17th and 18th centuries, but the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain won control of the region following the French and Indian War in 1763. So, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, some, beginning with Charles de Langlade in 1764, settled in Wisconsin permanently, rather than returning to British-controlled Canada; the British took over Wisconsin during the French and Indian War, taking control of Green Bay in 1761 and gaining control of all of Wisconsin in 1763. Like the French, the British were interested in little but the fur trade. One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in 1791, when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette; the first permanent settlers French Canadians, some Anglo-New Englanders and a few African American freedmen, arrived in Wisconsin while it was under British control.
Charles Michel de Langlade is recognized as the first settler, establishing a trading post at Green Bay in 1745, moving there permanently in 1764. Settlement began at Prairie du Chien around 1781; the French residents at the trading post in what is now Green Bay, referred to the t
St. Louis County, Minnesota
St. Louis County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U. S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 200,226, its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota, the largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River. St. Louis County is included in MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. Major industries include pulpwood tourism. Surface mining of taconite and processing it into high grade iron ore remains an important part of the economy of the Iron Range. Parts of the federally recognized Bois Forte and Fond du Lac Indian reservations are in the county; this area was long inhabited by Algonquian-speaking tribes: the Ojibwe and Potawatomi peoples were loosely affiliated in the Council of Three Fires. As American settlers entered the territory, the Native Americans were pushed to outer areas; the Minnesota Legislature established St. Louis County on February 20, 1855, as Doty County, changed its name to Newton County on March 3, 1855.
It consisted of the area east and south of the St. Louis River, while the area east of the Vermilion River and north of the St. Louis River was part of Superior County. Superior County was renamed St. Louis County. On March 1, 1856, that St. Louis County was renamed as Lake County. Newton County had that eastern area added to it. On May 23, 1857, St. Louis County took its current shape when Carlton County was formed from parts of St. Louis and Pine counties. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,860 square miles, of which 6,247 square miles is land and 612 square miles is water. By area, it is the largest county in Minnesota and the largest in the U. S. east of the Mississippi River. Voyageurs National Park, established in 1975, is located in its northwestern corner, on the south shore of Rainy Lake on the Canada–US border; the county includes parts of Superior National Forest, established in 1909, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the border, established in 1978.
The BWCAW is a 1,090,000-acre wilderness area designated for fishing, camping and canoeing, is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the United States. St. Louis County has more than 500 lakes, including Rainy, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane lakes; the largest lakes are Vermilion. The "Hill of Three Waters" on the Laurentian Divide lies northeast of Hibbing. Rain falling on this hill runs to three watersheds: Hudson Bay to the north, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the east, or the Gulf of Mexico to the south and west; the county is drained by the St. Louis and other rivers. Duluth on Lake Superior is one of the most important fresh-water ports in the United States and located in this county; the county encompasses part of the Iron Range. It has had a significant taconite mining industry in the city of Virginia. Rainy River District, Canada Lake County Douglas County, Wisconsin Carlton County Aitkin County Itasca County Koochiching County Superior National Forest Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Voyageurs National Park The county has a humid continental climate moderated by its proximity to Lake Superior.
Winters are long and cold seeing maximum temperatures remaining below 32 °F on 106 days. Due to global warming, in January 2019 Tracy Twine, professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil and Climate, said "we just don’t expect temperatures to be below 10 degrees Fahrenheit in Duluth anymore. Public schools and other government offices shut down on January 29-30, 2019 because of wind chills of -70°F; as of the 2010 census, there were 200,226 people residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 94.0% White, 2.2% Native American, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% of some other race and 2.3% of two or more races. 1.2% were Hispanic or Latino. According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the ancestral makeup was 24.3% German, 15.9% Norwegian, 13.0% Swedish, 10.2% Irish. As of the 2000 census, there were 200,528 people, 82,619 households, 51,389 families residing in the county; the population density was 32 people per square mile. There were 95,800 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the county was 94.86% White, 0.85% Black or African American, 2.03% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, 1.35% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.60% of households included children under the age of 18, 49.30% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.80% were non-families. 31.20% of all households consisted of individuals and 13.00% of individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.90. The population spread by age was 22.40% under the age of 18, 11.40% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, 16.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males. The median income for a household in the county was $36,306, the median income for a family was $47,134.
Males had a median income of $37,934 versus $24
Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
Duluth is a major port city in the U. S. state of Minnesota and the county seat of Saint Louis County. Duluth is the 4th largest city in Minnesota, it is the 2nd largest city on Lake Superior. The largest is Thunder Bay, Canada, it has the largest metropolitan area on the lake, with a population of 279,771 in 2010, the second-largest in the state. Situated on the north shore of Lake Superior at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes, Duluth is accessible to oceangoing vessels from the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles away via the Great Lakes Waterway and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Duluth forms a metropolitan area with Wisconsin; the cities share the Duluth–Superior harbor and together are the Great Lakes' largest port, transporting coal, iron ore, grain. A tourist destination for the Midwest, Duluth features the United States' only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium; the city is the starting point for vehicle trips along Minnesota's North Shore. The city is named for Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, the first known European explorer of the area.
The Anishinaabe known as the Ojibwe or Chippewa, have inhabited the Lake Superior region for more than 500 years. They were preceded by the Dakota, Menominee and Gros Ventre peoples, whom they pushed out of the area. Established as traders, after the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe found a niche as the middlemen between the French fur traders and other Native peoples, they soon became the dominant Indian nation in the region, forcing out the Dakota Sioux and Fox and winning a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. Marie in 1662. By the mid-18th century, the Ojibwe occupied all of Lake Superior's shores. For both the Ojibwe and the Dakota, interaction with Europeans during the contact period revolved around the fur trade and related activities; the Ojibwe are known for their crafting of birch bark canoes, use of copper arrow points, cultivation of wild rice. In 1745, they adopted guns from the British for use against the Dakota nation of the Sioux, whom they pushed to the south; the Ojibwe Nation was the first to set the agenda with European-Canadian leaders for signing more detailed treaties before many European settlers were allowed too far west.
The settlement in Ojibwe is Onigamiinsing, a reference to the small and easy portage across Minnesota Point between Lake Superior and western Saint Louis Bay, which forms Duluth's harbor. According to Ojibwe oral history, Spirit Island, near the Spirit Valley neighborhood, was the "Sixth Stopping Place", where the northern and southern branches of the Ojibwe Nation came together and proceeded to their "Seventh Stopping Place" near the present city of La Pointe, Wisconsin; the "Stopping Places" were the places the Native Americans occupied during their westward migration as the Europeans overran their territory. Several factors brought fur traders to the Great Lakes in the early 17th century; the fashion for beaver hats in Europe generated demand for pelts. French trade for beaver in the lower Saint Lawrence River had led to the depletion of the animals in that region by the late 1630s, so the French searched farther west for new resources and new routes, making alliances with the Native Americans along the way to trap and deliver their furs.
Étienne Brûlé is credited with the European discovery of Lake Superior before 1620. Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers explored the Duluth area, Fond du Lac in 1654 and again in 1660; the French soon established fur posts near Duluth and in the far north where Grand Portage became a major trading center. The French explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, whose name is sometimes anglicized as "DuLuth", explored the Saint Louis River in 1679. After 1792 and the independence of the United States, the North West Company established several posts on Minnesota rivers and lakes, in areas to the west and northwest, for trading with the Ojibwe, the Dakota, other native tribes; the first post was where Superior, Wisconsin developed. Known as Fort Saint Louis, the post became the headquarters for North West's new Fond du Lac Department, it had stockaded walls, two houses of 40 feet each, a shed of 60 feet, a large warehouse, a canoe yard. Over time, Indian peoples and European Americans settled nearby, a town developed at this point.
In 1808, the American Fur Company was organized by German-born John Jacob Astor. The company began trading at the Head of the Lakes in 1809. In 1817, it erected a new headquarters at present-day Fond du Lac on the Saint Louis River. There, portages connected Lake Superior with Lake Vermillion to the north, with the Mississippi River to the south. After creating a powerful monopoly, Astor got out of the business about 1830, as the trade was declining, but active trade was carried on until the failure of the fur trade in the 1840s. European fashions had changed and many American areas were getting over-trapped, with game declining. Two Treaties of Fond du Lac were signed by natives with the United States in the present neighborhood of Fond du Lac in 1826 and 1847, by which the Ojibwe ceded land to the American government; as part of the Treaty of Washington with the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa, the United States set aside the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation upstream from Duluth near Cloquet, Minnesota.
The Ojibwe population was moved there. As European Americans continued to settle and encroach on Ojibwe lands, the U. S. gove
John A. Blatnik Bridge
The John A. Blatnik Bridge is the bridge that carries Interstate 535 and U. S. Highway 53 over the Saint Louis Bay, a tributary of Lake Superior, between Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin; the bridge is 7,975 feet long and rises up nearly 120 feet above the water to accommodate the seaway shipping channel. It was dedicated on December 2, 1961, but was renamed for Congressman John Blatnik on September 24, 1971, to commemorate Blatnik's role in making the bridge a reality; the Blatnik Bridge replaced a swinging toll bridge around the same location that carried both automobile and rail traffic. The bridge was widened and the substructure was strengthened between 1992 and 1993 to accommodate hard shoulders; the Blatnik Bridge was reduced to two lanes temporarily in 2008, after it was discovered in a bridge inspection that the 1990s upgrades to the Blatnik Bridge had added weight beyond the load limit for gusset plates in eight different locations. This was similar to the gusset plates that caused the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis to collapse on August 1, 2007.
The Blatnik Bridge was reduced to two lanes temporarily until the gusset plates could be strengthened. In November 2011, both the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation installed new signs to remind drivers that trucks over 40 short tons gross vehicle weight cannot use the Blatnik Bridge. According to the press release, overweight vehicles have been restricted from using the Blatnik Bridge since early 2008 when inspections showed that corrosion and time were starting to affect the structure. Transportation officials say that the bridge is aging and restriction of overweight vehicles will help to extend the life of the bridge. Drivers who disregard the posted. Bridges portal Wisconsin portal Minnesota portal Media related to John A. Blatnik Bridge at Wikimedia Commons
A port is a maritime commercial facility which may comprise one or more wharves where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo. Although situated on a sea coast or estuary, some ports, such as Hamburg and Duluth, are many miles inland, with access from the sea via river or canal. Today, by far the greatest growth in port development is in Asia, the continent with some of the world's largest and busiest ports, such as Singapore and the Chinese ports of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan. Whenever ancient civilisations engaged in maritime trade, they tended to develop sea ports. One of the world's oldest known artificial harbors is at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea. Along with the finding of harbor structures, ancient anchors have been found. Other ancient ports include Guangzhou during Qin Dynasty China and Canopus, the principal Egyptian port for Greek trade before the foundation of Alexandria. In ancient Greece, Athens' port of Piraeus was the base for the Athenian fleet which played a crucial role in the Battle of Salamis against the Persians in 480 BCE.
In ancient India from 3700 BCE, Lothal was a prominent city of the Indus valley civilisation, located in the Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt. Ostia Antica was the port of ancient Rome with Portus established by Claudius and enlarged by Trajan to supplement the nearby port of Ostia. In Japan, during the Edo period, the island of Dejima was the only port open for trade with Europe and received only a single Dutch ship per year, whereas Osaka was the largest domestic port and the main trade hub for rice. Nowadays, many of these ancient sites no longer function as modern ports. In more recent times, ports sometimes fall out of use. Rye, East Sussex, was an important English port in the Middle Ages, but the coastline changed and it is now 2 miles from the sea, while the ports of Ravenspurn and Dunwich have been lost to coastal erosion. Whereas early ports tended to be just simple harbours, modern ports tend to be multimodal distribution hubs, with transport links using sea, canal, road and air routes.
Successful ports are located to optimize access to an active hinterland, such as the London Gateway. Ideally, a port will grant easy navigation to ships, will give shelter from wind and waves. Ports are on estuaries, where the water may be shallow and may need regular dredging. Deep water ports such as Milford Haven are less common, but can handle larger ships with a greater draft, such as super tankers, Post-Panamax vessels and large container ships. Other businesses such as regional distribution centres and freight-forwarders and other processing facilities find it advantageous to be located within a port or nearby. Modern ports will have specialised cargo-handling equipment, such as gantry cranes, reach stackers and forklift trucks. Ports have specialised functions: some tend to cater for passenger ferries and cruise ships; some third world countries and small islands such as Ascension and St Helena still have limited port facilities, so that ships must anchor off while their cargo and passengers are taken ashore by barge or launch.
In modern times, ports decline, depending on current economic trends. In the UK, both the ports of Liverpool and Southampton were once significant in the transatlantic passenger liner business. Once airliner traffic decimated that trade, both ports diversified to container cargo and cruise ships. Up until the 1950s the Port of London was a major international port on the River Thames, but changes in shipping and the use of containers and larger ships, have led to its decline. Thamesport, a small semi-automated container port thrived for some years, but has been hit hard by competition from the emergent London Gateway port and logistics hub. In mainland Europe, it is normal for ports to be publicly owned, so that, for instance, the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam are owned by the state and by the cities themselves. By contrast, in the UK all ports are in private hands, such as Peel Ports who own the Port of Liverpool, John Lennon Airport and the Manchester Ship Canal. Though modern ships tend to have bow-thrusters and stern-thrusters, many port authorities still require vessels to use pilots and tugboats for manoeuvering large ships in tight quarters.
For instance, ships approaching the Belgian port of Antwerp, an inland port on the River Scheldt, are obliged to use Dutch pilots when navigating on that part of the estuary that belongs to the Netherlands. Ports with international traffic have customs facilities; the terms "port" and "seaport" are used for different types of port facilities that handle ocean-going vessels, river port is used for river traffic, such as barges and other shallow-draft vessels. A dry port is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations. A fishing port is a harbor for landing and distributing fish, it may be a recreational facility, but it is commercial. A fishing port is the only port that depends on an ocean product, depletion of fish may cause a fishing port to be uneconomical. An inland port is a port on a navigable lake, river, or canal with access to a sea or ocean, which therefore allows a ship to sail from the ocean inland to the port to load or unload its cargo.
An example of this is the St. Lawrence Seaway which allows ships to travel from the Atlantic Ocean several thousand kilometers inland to Great Lakes ports like Toronto, Duluth-Superior, C