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Image Caption: STS51C-143-0029 The Okefenokee Swamp Region, Georgia and Florida, U.S.A. January 1985
This northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph shows the Okefenokee Swamp (dark greenish-blue area near the center of the photograph) and the Atlantic Coastal Plain of southeastern Georgia and northern Florida. The Okefenokee Swamp is considered a deciduous forest, or bottom hardwood swamp, in a coastal basin that is flooded annually by slow-moving streams. The Suwannee River rises and is the main river or stream in the swamp. The Okefenokee Swamp is 40 miles (64 kilometers) long, averages 20 miles (32 kilometers) in width, and covers 600 square miles (1555 square kilometers). The swamp sits in a saucer-shaped depression with low ridges and small islands rising above the water and vegetation cover. Tall bald cypress trees, relatives of the California redwoods, provide a rich habitat for numerous species of wildlife and a host of epiphytic and climbing plants. This type of cypress swamp depends for its survival on periodic fires, as well as water. White smoke plumes are scattered throughout the swamp area. Jacksonville, Florida, at the north end of the Saint Johns River, can be seen to the east-southeast of the Okefenokee Swamp area. The barrier islands along the southeastern Georgia coast are visible to the east and northeast of the swamp region.