Smithsonian

Sample Reading

Some of us live on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Some of us cross it every summer going to the ocean. The Atlantic Coastal Plain begins at the wide flat beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches west across the Chesapeake Bay until the land becomes hilly. Our state capital, Annapolis, is in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region.

A long time ago, when only a few people lived in this region, the land was mostly wetlands and forests. When more and more people came and settled here, they filled in the wetlands to build towns along the water’s edge. Farmers cut down forests to make space for their fields.

The soil of the Atlantic Coastal Plain is light and good for farming. Crops such as corn, soybeans, melons, tomatoes, and squash grow well there.

Towns and farms are very important to us. We live in towns and eat food grown on the farms. Wetlands and forests are also important. They are home to many animals and plants. They help clean the water that flows through them. They help protect us by absorbing water when there is a flood. Forests help clean the air that we breathe. We must take care of our wetlands and forest just as we take care of our towns and farms.

(From The Maryland Adventure by Suzanne Ellery Chapelle, 2001.)