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For you guys with large bodies of water

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  • For you guys with large bodies of water

    I know it will change state to state or maybe there is a federal law but does anyone know the guidelines on public property vs private property on the beach line?

    If someone owns beach front land how far onto the beach is theirs? I have heard a ton of different things, high tide line, 50 feet from high tide etc.

    We had something the other day where I was thinking trespassing but I'm not sure and have to do a little research.

  • #2
    That is depedent on state law. Here private property goes to the water-line, at the water-line it turns into state property.

    Unless you're talking about moving water. You can own the ground under moving water, but not the water. Floating in a canoe; you are on state property. If you step out of your canoe onto the stream bed, you can be considered to be tresspassing. As the second driest state in the country, my state is concerned with water-rights.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

    Douglas MacArthur

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KenW. View Post
      That is depedent on state law. Here private property goes to the water-line, at the water-line it turns into state property.

      Unless you're talking about moving water. You can own the ground under moving water, but not the water. Floating in a canoe; you are on state property. If you step out of your canoe onto the stream bed, you can be considered to be tresspassing. As the second driest state in the country, my state is concerned with water-rights.
      Thanks Ken, I'm talking about the Atlantic so there is a pretty big difference with high/low tide. So if your saying a land owner can own land under the water I would have to find maps of the actual land. I did not think you could own and land under the water and your property line would start where the water ended.

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      • #4
        Atlantic Ocean?! Maybe you should be talking to the Coast Guard. I imagine maritime law or some treaty could be involved with that one. You see; Coastal waters might not be governed by the individual states.

        Kind of along the same lines as you can own land, but not the mineral rights (oil / natural gas / coal deposits) to what lies beneath, without first securing them.
        Last edited by KenW.; 05-07-2007, 10:32 AM.
        I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

        Douglas MacArthur

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        • #5
          When purchasing a waterfront parcel of land, the owner will have property rights that extend, most commonly, to the mean high tide line. The public trust doctrine ensures that the land seaward of this line remains the property of the public but is held in trust by the state. Therefore, the public has right of access along the waterfront below the mean
          high tide line.

          I was pretty close, you cannot own the property between high tide and low tide. So if your walking down the coastline it's ALL public property.

          Also found out that local municipalities can charge for beach access to cover "life guards" and "garbage" clean-up.

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          • #6
            In MD it all depends on state law but community bylaws apply as well. Everything you do near the water line is watched over though


            Well supposed to be anyways
            Leave Space Empty

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            • #7
              In Maryland, the seperation between private and public property is the mean high tide. Since the tide ebs and flows, it changes always. However, the mean high tide can not include days when a lot of rain has fallen and has made the water levels rise and vice versa.

              Hope this answers your question. I believe this is the main determination for most states.

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              • #8
                And now you can take into account global warming and the melting polar ice caps.
                I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                Douglas MacArthur

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                • #9
                  Here is a good start, U.S. Supreme Court
                  SHIVELY v. BOWLBY, 152 U.S. 1 (1894)

                  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...vol=152&page=1


                  The conclusions from the considerations and authorities above stated may be summed up as follows:

                  Lands under tide waters are incapable of cultivation or improvement in the manner of lands above high-water mark. They are of great value to the public for the purposes of commerce, navigation, and fishery. Their improvement by individuals, when permitted, is incidental or subordinate to the public use and right. Therefore, the title and the control of them are vested in the sovereign, for the benefit of the whole people.

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