The Peace River
is a river in the southwestern part of the Florida peninsula
, in the U.S.A.
. It originates at the juncture of Saddle Creek and Peace Creek south of Bartow
in Polk County
and flows south through Hardee County
in DeSoto County
and then southwest into the Charlotte Harbor estuary
at Port Charlotte
in Charlotte County
. It is long and has a drainage basin
of . U.S. Highway 17
runs near and somewhat parallel to the river for much of its course.
The river was called Rio de la Paz
(River of Peace
) on 16th century Spanish
charts. It appeared as Peas Creek
or Pease Creek
on later maps. The Creek
(and later, Seminole
) Indians call it Talakchopcohatchee, River of Long Peas
. Other cities along the Peace River include Fort Meade
and Zolfo Springs
Fresh water from the Peace River is vital to maintain the delicate salinity of Charlotte Harbor that hosts several endangered species, as well as commercial and recreational harvests of shrimp, crabs, and fish. The river has always been a vital resource to the people in its watershed. Historically, the adundant fishery and wildlife of Charlotte Harbor supported large populations of people of the Caloosahatchee culture (in early historic times, the Calusa). Today, the Peace River supplies over six million gallons per day of drinking water to the people in the region. The river is also popular for canoeing.
There were many pleistocene and miocene fossils found throughout the Peace River area, eventually leading to the discovery of phosphate deposits. Most of the northern watershed of the Peace River comprises an area known as the Bone Valley.
- O'Donnell, Brian. 1990. Peace River. in Marth, Del and Marty Marth, eds. The Rivers of Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 0-910923-70-1.