Published at Monday, October 07th 2019, 05:11:44 AM. Maps. By Ruth Elwood.
The Canada–United States border (French: frontière Canada–États-Unis), officially known as the International Boundary (French: Frontière Internationale), is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth- largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary (including portions of maritime boundaries in the Great Lakes, and on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic coasts) is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories (Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick), and thirteen U.S. states (Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine) are located along the border.
Similar arrangements exist at major Canadian seaports that handle sealed direct import shipments into the U.S. Additionally, at Vancouver's Pacific Central Station, passengers are required to pass through U.S. preclearance facilities, and to pass their baggage through an X ray machine before being allowed to board the Seattle-bound Amtrak Cascades train, which makes no further stops before crossing the border. Preclearance facilities are not available for the popular New York City to Montreal (Adirondack) or Toronto (Maple Leaf) trains, since these lines have stops between Montreal or Toronto and the border. Instead, passengers must clear customs at a stop located at the actual border.
Ferry services operate between the province of New Brunswick and the state of Maine, as well as between the province of British Columbia and the states of Washington and Alaska. There are also several ferry services in the Great Lakes operating between the province of Ontario and the states of Michigan, New York, and Ohio. The ferry between Maine and Nova Scotia ended its operations in 2009, but resumed them in 2014. The Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the St. Lawrence River has a border control point on the island, but no specific location on the Canadian side. Canadians must present identification to land on the island.
According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, the continental border then follows the middle of the Rio Grande—according to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the two nations, "along the deepest channel" (also known as the thalweg)—a distance of 2,020 kilometers (1,260 mi) to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande frequently meanders along the Texas–Mexico border. As a result, the United States and Mexico have a treaty by which the Rio Grande is maintained as the border, with new cut-offs and islands being transferred to the other nation as necessary. The Boundary Treaty of 1970 between Mexico and the United States settled all outstanding boundary disputes and uncertainties related to the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) border. The region is characterized by deserts, rugged hills, abundant sunshine, and two major rivers—the Colorado and the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte).
The Mexico–United States border (Spanish: frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from urban areas to deserts. The Mexico–United States border is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with approximately 350 million documented crossings annually.
The U.S. states along the border, from west to east, are California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The Mexican states along the border are Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. Among the U.S. states, Texas has the longest stretch of the border with Mexico, while California has the shortest. Among the states in Mexico, Chihuahua has the longest border with the United States, while Nuevo León has the shortest. Along the border are 23 U.S. counties and 39 Mexican municipalities.
The total length of the continental border is 3,145 kilometers (1,954 mi). From the Gulf of Mexico, it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas. Westward from El Paso–Juárez, it crosses vast tracts of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts to the Colorado River Delta and San Diego–Tijuana, before reaching the Pacific Ocean.