DV-14-10 Public shoreline access in Maine: evolving laws and lessons

John Duff
School for the Environment
University of Massachusetts Boston

Public concerns over coastal access in Maine have been the subject of recent litigation, media coverage, and Maine Sea Grant public outreach and education efforts. Much of the information available to the public regarding public shoreline access is dated and does not reflect recent developments concerning the legal right to access Maine’s shoreline, under what circumstances, and for which purposes. As a result, property owners, municipal officials, law enforcement officials, residents of Maine and visitors to the state are unaware who is a legitimate visitor to the beach and who is trespassing.

Updated analysis is needed to determine whether and how the rules regarding shoreline access are evolving. This project will undertake legal research and public policy analysis of developments regarding public access to Maine’s shoreline. This will build upon the state-of-the-law regarding coastal access as of 2004. Findings will be prepared for audiences in a range of formats, including an update to the popular publication, “Public Shoreline Access in Maine.”

Sea Grant funds: $5,000