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Georgia Historical Site: Okefenokee Swamp Essay

531 words - 3 pages

The Okefenokee Swamp is located in Georgia and has played a major part in state's history. Many people have lived in the swamp, from the Indians to the White settlers. People have tried to drain it and cut down the trees but it still exists today. We need to take care of this precious gift to make sure it lasts for many others to enjoy.The late Archaic, Mississippian, and Woodland Indians occupied the Okefenokee between 500 and 1200 AD. They constructed sand mounds in the swamp. Then the Spanish came in and built Spanish Missions in or near the swamp. They called the swamp Laguna de Oconi. In the latter part of the 18th century, the Creek Indians used the swamp as a hunting ...view middle of the document...

However, it wasn't until 1929 that an organization became successful. In 1937 the government purchased the property which had belonged to a lumber company. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge and facilities were developed. Everybody who lived in the swamp was told they could no longer kill the bears and wildcats. As a result, all swamp dwellers were gone by 1958. Over the years the government added more land to the refuge and changed the name to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.Okefenokee Swamp has an abundance of animals. There are black bears, white-tailed deer, otters, water moccasins, and alligators. Also there are carnivorous plants, such as pitcher plants and bladderwort.The swamp covers roughly 600 square miles and there are two rivers that start there, the St. Mary's River and the Suwannee River. The swamp was created when Georgia's coast was further inland. A sandbar cut off the ocean and the salt water over time became fresh water. Dead plants and animals fell into the water turning it brown and made peat. The Indians called Okefenokee Swamp, Owaquaphenoga which means land of the trembling earth. The water under the peat made the ground shake when you walked on it.The swamp has four features, the prairies, the houses and hammocks, the lakes, and the islands. The Prairies are the open parts, and the houses and hammocks are the clusters of trees. There are about seventy islands and forty lakes.As you can see the swamp is not only good for protecting the coastline and filtering our water but the swamp has played a part in our history. And hopefully we continue to preserve it.

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