Maine Beach Access Litigation

Active | November 18 2009

Beach Access

The Maine Chapter is working to protect the rights of public beach access in the landmark Goose Rocks Beach case.

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 submitted letters asking for a court scheduling conference as soon as possible; at long last, on April 6, 2018 a final judgment was entered that the Town owns the Beach, with minor exception. A big step forward for public beach access in Maine!!

As was anticipated, an appeal has been filed.

Stay tuned to learn more about the chapter's participation in this important case.


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

Thank you!

Beach Access

Our beaches mean so much to us. They are where we live, where we work, and where we come to play. Our beaches are the entryway to our ocean and we believe that beaches should be accessible to everyone. This is why our network of staff experts, volunteers, and members are determined to keep our beaches accessible for all to enjoy.

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