Supreme Court Rules on Intertidal Rights

The tussle in Maine over beach access between oceanfront property owners and members of the public goes back centuries. Beachfront owners, citing a colonial-era law adopted when Maine was part of Massachusetts, claim they own the shore all the way to the low-tide mark–and that the public can only use private tidelands if it’s for “fishing, fowling and navigation.” But the Maine Supreme Judicial Court last week shifted the landscape. It ruled 6-0 in favor of an Eastport scuba diver who wanted to access his neighbor’s property at low tide.

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