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INTRODUCTION • One can divide the entire southern margin of the U.S. in half based on human geography. • Rio Grande east to North Carolina • U.S-Mexico border area. • The southern coastlands are distinct • Humid subtropical climate • Location on the continental margin • The Southern Coastlands may appear to be a region of the “Changing South,” but it does not "fit”, economically nor environmentally. • The region is outlined on page 219.
SUBTROPICAL ENVIRONMENT • Humid subtropical climate • warm, humid summers • mild winters • long growing seasons • Almost the entire region experiences 9 months or more of potential growing time - map on pg 220 • Average growing season is greater than 10 months, with southern Florida having nearly 12 months. • Average rainfall is greater than 50 inches, and almost all of it occurs in the summer (April-October), which makes for ideal growing conditions.
AGRICULTURE • Two key agricultural advantages • Can host specialty crops which cannot be grown elsewhere • Double cropping is possible in some areas • Key specialty crops • citrus • sugarcane • rice
AGRICULTURE • Citrus was introduced to Florida in the 16th Century. • Most of the industry is concentrated south of 29 North latitude. • Half the production occurs between Tampa and Orlando. • Since 1945 there has been a continuous increase in local processing rather than simple export. • Today, more than 80% of the total harvest is frozen into concentrate. • The industry is labor intensive and pays out 1/3 of its production costs to migrant workers.
AGRICULTURE(continued) • Sugarcane production is exclusive to the southern coastlands. • Cane is the tropical source of sugar and is the primary source of the world's supply. • In the U.S. and Canada, sugar beets provide a basic source of sugar. • Sugarcane is a perennial crop, requiring a full year to mature, while being very sensitive to frost. • The crop is grown in Louisiana using the natural water supply, and is made possible by irrigation in Florida.
AGRICULTURE(continued) • Rice is irrigated and grown in Louisiana and Texas (near Houston) along the coast. • An additional source area includes the area to the north (in Arkansas) along the Mississippi Valley.
AMENITIES • Climate and coastal location • Tremendous growth in the retired population. • In Florida for example, 12% of the population was older than 60 in 1950; by 1980, however, people over 60 comprised 23% of the population. • Tourism • Traditional focus has been on Florida-beaches, Disneyland, baseball training camps, Cape Canaveral • Recent boom-coastal area extending from New Orleans to Mobile, centered on coastal Mississippi (known locally as the "Mississippi Riviera")
HAZARDS • Frosts • Mid-winter frosts can be devastating since most agriculturalists expect the first frost not to occur before December 15th. • Too little frost enables insects to thrive throughout the year. • Hurricanes • Destructive and common throughout the entire region. • Hurricanes Camile, Hugo, Andrew, Floyd, etc. • Water Supply • Particularly a problem in central Florida • Groundwater overdraft>>subsidence and the creation of sinkholes (craters formed when the roof of a cavern collapses)
ON THE MARGINS OF THE CONTINENT • Trade • The coastal location includes several major ports that are located at the mouths of major rivers. • Pensacola, Mobile, Galveston, and Corpus Christi all benefit from sheltered bays. • Jacksonville, Brownsville, New Orleans, and Houston (made possible via construction back in 1873) are all significant port cities that enhance trade with Latin America and Europe. • All of the ports have vast hinterlands that extend into the interior.
ON THE MARGINS OF THE CONTINENT • Resources • The continental shelf that is adjacent to the region, extends 750 miles out into the ocean in some areas and hosts a variety of resources. • Texas and Louisiana are number one and two in U.S. oil production, with much of the supply coming from off shore drilling. • Natural gas is also available in large quantities.
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT • Petrochemical industry • Natural gas and petroleum products • Used as chemical components for a variety of everyday use items - plastics, paints, antifreeze, and fertilizer • "Texas Triangle” • Spatial arrangement of Houston, Dallas - Fort Worth, and San Antonio). • The cities are linked together by transportation and communications networks and economic activity.
MAJOR CITIES • Miami-tremendous growth • recreation • travel • Latin American commercial connection • New Orleans • Industrial and recreational importance • Constrained site restricts growth • Houston-rapid growth • Manufacturing and trade • Tremendous reliance on the petrochemical industry- a blessing or vulnerability?