Coastal Plain

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In Podcast #26 the Trekkers go to the Great Dismal Swamp in the Coastal Plain Region.  It is a National Wildlife Refuge, a wetlands habitat, and home to many plants and animals; find out how George Washington tried to start a business in the swamp; learn why many slaves escaped here on the Underground Railroad; discover why the roads through the swamp are called ditches; see the effects from the fire of 2008; explore the largest natural lake in Virginia, Lake Drummond, and find out why its water is so brown.  Come on, let's go trekkin'!

Some of the slaves who escaped on the Underground Railroad decided to stay and live in the Great Dismal Swamp!  In 1784 a man named John Smyth wrote about these “marooners” as they were called, saying they “have resided in these places for twelve, twenty, or thirty years and upwards, subsisting themselves in the swamp upon corn, hogs, and fowls, that they raised on some of the spots not perpetually under water, nor subject to be flooded, as forty-nine parts out of fifty of it are; and on such spots they have erected habitations, and cleared small fields around them;”  Some evidence of these habitations have been found in the swamp, but none are still standing.  Source

SOL Correlation:

VS.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the geography and early inhabitants of Virginia by

  1. b)locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau;

  2. c)locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, and Rappanhannock River);


4.8 The student will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources.  Key concepts include

  1. a)watershed and water resources;