Atlantic coast rivers of the northeastern United States

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Jackson, J.K., A.D. Huryn, D.L. Strayer, D.L. Courtemanch, and B.W. Sweeney. 2005. Pages 21-71 in A.C. Benke and C.E. Cushing (editors). Rivers of North America. Academic Press, San Diego, California.


The Atlantic slope region of the northeastern US stretches from the Penobscot River in northern Maine to the Rappahannock River on the lower Chesapeake Bay. This chapter discusses five large river basins in the Atlantic US–Northeast region: the Penobscot, Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna. The chapter gives a brief overview of the physiography, climate, and land use; geomorphology, hydrology, and river chemistry; and river diversity and ecology of the five river basins. The Atlantic drainage of the northeastern US is physiographically and climatically diverse. There are ten terrestrial ecoregions in the Atlantic US–Northeast region. These regions also show great biological diversity. Human impacts and special features of the rivers are also discussed. The rivers played important roles in the European colonization of North America and the establishment of the US. These rivers served as economic, transportation, and communication conduits.