Who owns Maine’s intertidal lands?

Analyzing ancient law, English common law, rights arising by virtue of Maine’s statehood, the “equal footing” doctrine, and numerous Maine and U.S. Supreme Court cases, it is difficult to conclude that ownership of Maine’s intertidal lands rests anywhere other than with the the State of Maine. Orlando Delogu’s book, Maine Beaches are Public Property, and the articles contained herein make the case that title to Maine’s intertidal lands is not held by adjacent upland owners, but is held by the state in trust for the people.

September 2, 2019

I welcome your comments and questions.  You can contact me by email, orlandodelogu@maine.rr.com. or I can be reached by phone, 207-232-7975.


The History and Future of LD 1323

August 28, 2019

The 129th Maine Legislature (meeting from January-June, 2019) had several pieces of legislation before it that would have expanded public use rights in/on Maine intertidal lands, and that would have reexamined the question of ownership of these unique land areas.  Suffice it to say there was little legislative interest in pressing the latter issue–ownership issues will need to be raised by litigation that brings all of the arguments suggesting that Maine owns its intertidal lands before the courts, reaching to the U.S. Supreme Court, if that becomes necessary.