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Okefenokee Swamp

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About the Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp is a swampy region located mostly in southern Georgia, extending slightly into northeastern Florida.

The landscape here is mostly flat, but there are some islands of drier ground as well as some lakes. The wettest ground supports open marsh, with forested swamp covering most of the land, and pine on the drier uplands. Soils here are mostly formed on swamp deposits of muck and peat, mixed with fine sand and silt. There are also some coarser sands and clay.

In the 1890's, there was a failed attempt to drain this region by construction of the Suwannee Canal. Although the drainage attempt failed, the canal remains and is used to access the interior of the swamp by water, mainly for recreation, entering from the east end of the region.

An overwhelming majority of this region is protected land, mostly through Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, but also some other lands, including Stephen C Foster State Park and Okefenokee Swamp Park in Georgia, and in Florida, the Benton Conservation area, and part of the John M. Bethea State Forest. Although there were formerly a small number of residents, they were forced out in the construction of the national wildlife refuge here. Nowadays the region is mostly unpopulated, but is used for recreation, hunting, and fishing.

This region is surrounded to the north, west, and south by the Okefenokee Plains, a region that is still very flat, but slightly better-drained. To the east, it is bordered by the much-better-drained Sea Island Flatwoods, which also has more agriculture and population.