Imagine a time before airplanes, cars, trains, and even paved roads. How would you get around? Travel over land on dirt roads by foot or horse-drawn wagon would be slow and difficult. What if the roads were muddy or covered in snow? In bad weather, travel could be nearly impossible.
Before paved roads, the easiest and often quickest way to move people and goods was usually by boat. As a result, cities and towns often grew up along major water bodies. Nearly four out of every ten people in the U.S. live in a county that touches the coast. Many more live along rivers and lakes. Can you think of other reasons why people might want to live near a body of water?