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Maine Beach Access Litigation

Maine Beach Access Litigation

The Maine Chapter is fighting for public beach access rights, in a state where less than 10% of the vast coastline is publicly owned.

The Chapter is currently engaged in litigation alongside the State and the Town of Kennebunkport, regarding public access at Goose Rocks Beach (Almeder v. Town of Kennebunkport).  The Maine Law Court ruled in February 2014 on the side of private property owners as the case relates to prescriptive easements but they failed to issue an opinion on Surfrider's issues, relating to the public’s right of access via the Public Trust Doctrine and the Colonial Ordinance of 1647.  We’re now awaiting a decision on a motion to reconsider the failure to rule on PTD (arguments on the motion were heard in April 2014; click for updates on the Goose Rocks Beach litigation).

Historically, the Chapter engaged in a beach access case involving Secret Beach and the town of Eastport. The Eastport opportunity allowed Surfrider to have a voice before the highest court in the state, the Maine Law Court, to argue for an expansive interpretation of the Colonial Ordinance of 1647 to allow recreational activity.

The Chapter will continue to champion campaigns to protect public access to the coast in Maine.

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  • Chapter:Maine
  • State: ME
  • Country: USA
  • Theme: Beach Access
  • Launch Date: November 18 2009
  • Completion Date: Ongoing

Maine Chapter:  maine@surfrider.org.