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The major river of Georgia


Okefenokee swamp Georgia
Okefenokee swamp Georgia

Most of the rivers of Georgia drain eastward to the Atlantic Ocean proper or southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Only a few flow northward to the Tennessee River, which is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. Most of the rivers flowing to the coasts are navigable by barges and small craft as far upstream as the Fall Line.

The major river flowing to the Atlantic is the Savannah River, which, with the Tugaloo River, one of its headwaters, forms most of the state’s eastern border with South Carolina. Other rivers are the Ogeechee; the Altamaha and its tributaries the Ocmulgee and Oconee; the Satilla; and the Saint Marys, which forms part of the state boundary with Florida.

The major river flowing to the Gulf of Mexico is the Chattahoochee River, which rises in the Blue Ridge. It forms part of Georgia’s western border with Alabama. Near the Florida state line the Chattahoochee is joined by the Flint River, the longest river wholly within Georgia, to form the Apalachicola River, which flows southward through Florida to the gulf. More than 800 km (500 mi) long, the Chattahoochee-Apalachicola is one of the longest river systems in the eastern United States. Northwestern Georgia is drained by the Coosa River and its tributaries, flowing roughly southward to join the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. Other rivers flowing to the gulf include the Ochlockonee and the Suwannee and its tributaries, all rising in the Coastal Plain. The Ocoee (called Toccoa in Georgia), Nottely, and Hiwassee flow north from the Blue Ridge to the Tennessee River in Tennessee.

Most of Georgia’s large lakes are artificial bodies of water constructed by utility companies for power generation, or by the United States Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. Major reservoirs on the Savannah River, on the Georgia-South Carolina state line, are Hartwell and Clark Hill reservoirs.

On the Chattahoochee River and only partly in Florida are Walter F. George and Jim Woodruff reservoirs. Lake Sidney Lanier, on the upper Chattahoochee, covers 186 sq km (72 sq mi) and is the largest lake wholly within the state. Other major lakes are Lake Sinclair on the Oconee River, Lake Allatoona on the Etowah River, a Coosa tributary, and Tobesofkee, near Macon.

Coastline


The state’s coastline along the Atlantic Ocean is 161 km (100 mi) long. However, when all the river estuaries, bays, and islands are included, the shoreline measures 3,772 km (2,344 mi) long. Saltwater tidal marshes are found in most river estuaries. Just off the mainland, separated from it by a narrow and sheltered waterway, lies a chain of low islands. The islands, which continue along the coast of South Carolina, are called the Sea Islands. Sandy beaches fringe the seaward sides of many of the islands. Several of these islands are now developed, but two, Sapelo and Cumberland, are mostly owned by the state and largely remain in a natural condition. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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