19th century: 3,000-mile Intracoastal Waterway

The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Boston, Massachusetts, southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, then following the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas.

And it just goes along the entire East Coast of the US...
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Some sections of the waterway consist of natural inlets, saltwater rivers, bays, and sounds, while others are artificial canals. It provides a navigable route along its length without many of the hazards of travel on the open sea.
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So there we have it. The thing runs from Boston to Miami. Allegedly, we built most of this stuff.
  • The sheltered waters along the East Coast were important even during colonial times. In 1808, the Treasury Secretary, Albert Gallatin proposed creating a system of canals that would link Boston Harbor in Massachusetts with Brownsville Harbor in Texas.
  • Exploring the Intracoastal Waterway
Consists of many connecting parts this waterway. But how about that?

The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal
Being a part of the Intracoastal Waterway... The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) is a 14-mile (22.5 km)-long, 450-foot (137.2 m)-wide and 35-foot (10.7 m)-deep ship canal that connects the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay in the states of Delaware and Maryland.
  • Baltimore to Philadelphia, Maryland to Pennsylvania, United States. Completed 1829.
  • In the mid‑17th century, Augustine Herman, a mapmaker and Prague native who had served as an envoy for the Dutch, observed that two great bodies of water, the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay, were separated only by a narrow strip of land. Herman proposed that a waterway be built to connect the two.
  • In 1802, following actions by the legislatures of Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Company was incorporated, with merchant and banker Joseph Tatnall as president. More surveys followed, and in 1804, construction of the canal began under Benjamin Latrobe. The work included 14 locks to connect the Christina River in Delaware with the Elk River at Welch Point, Maryland, but the project was halted two years later for lack of funds.
  • Chesapeake & Delaware Canal - Wikipedia
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Dismal Swamp Canal
The Dismal Swamp Canal is located along the eastern edge of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina in the United States. It is the oldest continually operating man-made canal in the United States, opened in 1805. It is part of the Intracoastal Waterway, an inland route, which parallels the east coast and offers boaters shelter from the Atlantic Ocean from Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, to Brownsville, Texas. The route runs through bays, lakes, rivers, streams, and canals, and includes the Intracoastal Waterway running from Norfolk, Virginia, to the Florida Keys.
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KD: Isn't it interesting how they were allegedly building these canals 220 years ago like it was nothing. A 3,000 mile waterway I have never heard about due to my ignorance. Yet, how many questions does this waterway pose?
  • Who, in 1805 needed the protection from the Atlantic Ocean spanning from New Jersey, and Boston to Texas and Florida?
  • Who really built all this stuff?
Interesting, that digging further into it we run into the Great Loop. And what is it?

The Great Loop
The Great Loop is a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern portion of the United States and part of Canada. It is made up of both natural and man-made waterways, including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Rideau Canal, and the Mississippi and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The entire loop is approximately 6,000 miles (9,700 km) long.
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