Etymologically, a peninsula is almost an island. The word is broadly applied to various landmasses that are largely surrounded by water. A peninsula’s connection to the mainland can be a narrow isthmus or a broader reach of land. Four peninsulas mark the corners of the United States and illustrate the variety of peninsular landforms. Baja California and Florida are long narrow extensions off the southern perimeter on opposite sides of the continent. Washington’s boxy Olympic Peninsula forms the northwest corner, and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia dangles from an isthmus out into the Atlantic Ocean off the northeast coast of Maine.

Carolyn Servid