Hope this (bitterly cold!!! ) Monday finds you all well.

Today's numbers are:

9 - Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean, and surrounded by the North American mainlaind on the west and the Delmarva Peninsula to the east. It is the largest such body in the contiguous US. The northern bay is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia. It is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the bay's 64,299-square-mile drainage basin, which covers six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia), plus all of the District of Columbia.

The bay is approximately 200 miles long from its northern headwaters in the Susquehanna River to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean. It is 2.8 miles wide at its narrowest, and 30 miles at its widest. Total shoreline including tributaries is 11,684 miles. Average depth is 21 feet, reaching a maximum of 174 feet. The bay is spanned twice; in Maryland by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and in Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel.

The word Chesepiooc is an Algonquin word referring to a village "at a big river." It is the seventh oldest surviving English place-name in te U.S., first applied as "Chesepiook" by explorers heading north from the Roanoke Colony into a Chesepeake tributary in 1585 or 1586. The name might actually have meant something like "great water," or it may have just referred to a village at the bay's mouth.

The Chespeake Bay is home to numerous fauna that either migrate to the bay at some point during the year or live there year round. There are over 300 species of fish and numerous shellfish and crab species. Birds include osprey, great blue heron, bald eagle, and peregrine falcon. Larger fish such as Atlantic sturgeon, as well as varieties of sharks and stingrays visit the bay. Waters of the bay have been regarded as one of the most important nursery areas for sharks along the east coast. Megafaunas such as bull sharks, tiger sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and basking sharks, as well as manta rays, are also known to visit. Bottlenose dolphins are known to live seasonally/yearly in the bay. There have been (unconfirmed) sightings of humpback whales in recent years; North Atlantic right whale, fin, minke, and sei whales have also been sighted within and vicinity to the bay. The bay is home to a diverse flora, both land and aquatic.

In 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verranazzo, in service of the French crown, sailed past the Chesapeake but did not enter. Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Allyon sent an expedition in 1525 which reached the mouths of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The arrival of English colonists under Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 16th century to found a colony, latter settled at Roanoke Island, marked the first time that the English approached the gates to the Chesapeake Bay between the capes of Cape Charles and Cape Henry. In 1607, Europeans again entered the Bay. Captain John Smith explored and mapped the bay between 1607 and 1609, resulting in the publication of "A Map of Virginia" in 1612.

The Bay was the site of the Battle of the Chesapeake (also known as the "Battle of the Capes") in 1781 during which the French fleet defeated the Royal Navy in the decisive naval battle of the American Revolutionary War and enabling General George Washington to bottle up the southern British Army of Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown. During the War of 1812, in 1813, British naval forces under command of Admiral George Cockburn raided and plundered several towns on the shores of the Chesapeake.

30 - Yorktown

Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia. It is the county seat of York, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1682. Today it is one of three sites of the Historic Triangle, which also includes Jamestown and Williamsburg, as important colonial-era settlements. It is the eastern terminus of the Colonial Parkway, which connects these locations.

Yorktown, named for the ancient city of York in Yorkshire, Northern England, was founded in 1691 as a port on the York River for English colonists to export tobacco to Europe. The lawyer Thomas Ballard was the principal founder of the city along with Joseph Ring. It was called "York" until after the Revolutionary War, when the name "Yorktown" came into common use. The town reached the height of its development around 1750, when it had 250 to 300 buildings and a population of almost 2,000 people. Yorktown was thought to occupy a strategic location controlling upstream portions of the York River, and its tributaries and their access to the Chesapeake Bay. The population dropped in Yorktown and other areas of the mostly rural peninsula after the state's capital was relocated from Williamsburg to Richmond on the James River in 1780.

The town is most famous as the site of the siege and subsequent surrender of General Cornwallis to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War in the autumn of 1781. A combined force of American Continental Army troops led by Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau had a decisive victory over the British Army commanded by Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War, as the surrender by Cornwallis, and the capture of both him and his army, prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict. The battle boosted faltering American morale and revived French enthusiasm for the war, as well as undermining popular support for the conflict in Great Britain.

During World War I, the federal government acquired about 13,000 acres for development by the US Navy as Mine Depot, Yorktown. This large installation has since expanded and been developed as Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. United States Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown serves as a training school for the US Coast Guard. Relatively close to Yorktown are Camp Peary, the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding yards and facilities, and Fort Eustis Army base. Other major installments in the area are Naval Station Norfolk and Langley Air Force Base.

Statistics: Posted by salome — Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:54 am

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