Beaches; Beach Rights

Beaches: Overview

An exception to title should be made regarding the possible rights of the public to use that (dry sand) part of the subject property which lies between the abutting body of water and the natural line of vegetation, bluff, extreme high water mark, or other apparent boundary line separating the public use area from the upland private area. Many states follow the “Public Trust Doctrine” which permits the public access to beach areas for recreational and other related purposes. In those instances where the Public Trust doctrine is not applicable, there may exist a prescriptive easement across such areas as a result of constant or substantial public use. In many areas, title to tide lands has been a subject of considerable litigation.