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Cape Charles forms the southern tip of the peninsula in Virginia.
The entire Delmarva Peninsula falls within the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a flat and sandy area with very few or no hills; the highest point in the peninsula is only 102 ft (31 m) above sea level.
In 1833 came the closest secession movement when a Delaware resolution proposing the Eastern Shore of Maryland be absorbed into Delaware passed the Delaware Senate and Delaware House of Representatives, it then passed the Maryland House of Delegates with a 40-24 vote, but failed to be voted out of committee by the Maryland Senate.
The following year, a Caroline County representative proposed allowing the Eastern Shore to secede via referendum, but the Maryland House of Delegates voted 60-5 to indefinitely postpone the measure and that proposal was never taken up again; in 1851, Dorchester County delegate and future Maryland Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks proposed an amendment that would give the Eastern Shore the right to vote itself into Delaware, but the amendment failed 51-27.
The border between Maryland and Virginia on the peninsula follows the Pocomoke River from the Chesapeake to a series of straight surveyed lines connecting the Pocomoke to the Atlantic Ocean.
At its southern tip, the Delmarva Peninsula is now connected to Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, Virginia, via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which opened in 1964.
The bridge tunnel is owned and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District.
In older sources, the peninsula between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay was referred to variously as the Delaware and Chesapeake Peninsula or simply the Chesapeake Peninsula.
The toponym Delmarva is a clipped compound of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (abbreviated VA), which in turn was modeled after Delmar, a border town named after two of those states.