What Are Some Facts About the Okefenokee Swamp?

The Okefenokee swamp is the largest swamp in North America. It covers approximately 700 square miles in the southeastern corner of Georgia and is home to more than 400 species of vertebrates, including more than 200 types of birds and 60 kinds of reptiles.

The Okefenokee swamp was created as a result of natural and human-driven events. Millions of years ago, sediments produced layers of nutrient-poor soil. During the early 20th century, logging removed many of the trees in the area. This continued until President Roosevelt enacted legislation to halt it.

The swamp's water is the result of up to 50 inches of rainfall a year. The acidic waters are shallow, averaging only 2 feet deep, with a maximum depth of 10 feet. Numerous life forms inhabit the swamp, including plants, birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and fish. Acidic and nutrient-poor soil conditions make it possible for carnivorous plants to thrive. The Okefenokee Swamp is also home to grasses, ferns, water lilies and other plants that float atop the waters in what are known as tree islands. The mixture of larger and smaller animals includes bears, deer, bobcats, opossums, foxes and raccoons. Fourteen different families of freshwater fish, including American eels and Okefenokee pygmy sunfish, make the waters their home.