Maine Beach Access Litigation
In a state where less than 10% of the vast coastline is publicly owned, it is paramount that the Maine Chapter remain vigilant in its fight for public beach access rights.
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.
The Town of Kennebunkport sent a letter to Justice Horton in 2015, asking if he would re-engage the parties in formal settlement negotiations/mediation. However, in a testament to its unwavering position of rejecting public access to the ocean, counsel for the beachfront property owners wrote Justice Horton back and told him mediation would be a waste of time, and that beachfront property owners won’t participate.
Both sides have submitted letters asking for a court scheduling conference as soon as possible; we’re now awaiting reply from the court.
The best way to support our Chapter's work in this and other public beach access campaigns is to become a supporting member. You can also join our email list, like our Facebook page, and COME TO OUR MEETINGS & EVENTS!