Massachusetts is located in the Northeast (New England) region of the United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Maine to the east, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. With an area of 27,337 square kilometers, it is home to the capital city of Boston and has a total area of 10,565 square miles. The state of Massachusetts is known for its progressive and abolitionist activity in the years before the American Civil War. It was also the first slave colony dating back to the early 17th century.
In 2004, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry won the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, narrowly losing to George W. Bush. Because of its location near the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts is vulnerable to tropical storms, northeast storms and hurricanes. Most ports north of Cape Cod are operated by Boston Harbor Cruises, which operates ferry services in and around Greater Boston under contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
The changing climate in Massachusetts will result in significant changes in the built environment and ecosystems. In 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony established settlements in Boston and Salem. To combat this change, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs of the state of Massachusetts has charted a path toward decarbonizing the state's economy. Massachusetts has gone from being a Republican-leaning state to one largely dominated by Democrats; only one Republican (former Senator Scott Brown) has been elected to either house of the Massachusetts Congress since 1994. The state is also full of wildflowers such as New England asters, blue violets, wild and bleeding hearts, black-eyed Susans and porthole daisies.