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“E” is for Edisto River

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“E” is for Edisto River. Rising in the coastal plain, the Edisto is one of the longest free-flowing black-water rivers in North America. The river takes its characteristic hue from the tannic acid created by the decomposition of leaves and branches. The Edisto River is formed by the joining of its north and south forks on the border of Orangeburg and Bamberg Counties and, along its course, provides the natural boundary between Dorchester and Colleton Counties. The river divided into two tidewater estuarial channels forming Edisto Island, before meeting the Atlantic Ocean at St. Helens Sound. It follows for about 250 miles from its headwaters to the ocean. The Edisto River is part of the ACE Basin, a coastal river system that included the Ashepoo and the Combahee and drains about twenty percent of the state.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.