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Somewhat surprisingly A LOT is happening regarding Maine beach access! Even more surprisingly, its mostly good news for proponents of improving Maine and Moody Beach access!!!!
Goose Rocks Beach Deed Trial Decision: The BIG news has to be the superior court decision that made the Town of Kennebunkport the owner of Goose Rocks Beach (in Kennebunkport) from the sea-wall to the ocean! This decision applied for 22 of the 23 ocean-front properties considered in this case. This means the GRB community has the right to fully access the beach for recreational purposes!!! This case was based on the 23 properties' deed histories to the beach, and almost unanimously found that the ocean-front properties did NOT have legally conveyed deeds to the beach. This effectively reversed a 2014 Supreme Court decision that left the public no right to access GRB for recreational purposes.
Although the ruling is specific to Goose Rocks Beach only, and the decision may be appealed, initiating this type of case is a promising approach for improving recreational access to Moody Beach. At first glance, many of the circumstances of this GRB case are similar for Moody Beach, including that the 2016 deed history study (partially funded by the Town of Wells), revealed a lot of uncertainty regarding whether most ocean-front properties have legally conveyed deeds to Moody Beach.
For more information on this issues, see the following web-pages on FreeMoodyBeach.com:
- See the News page for stories on this decision
- See the Links page for the 2016 “Coastal Beach Land Deed Research Study”
- See the Links page for this case’s decision
- See the Commentary page for more insights into this court decision and how it may help Moody Beach!!
Book on Maine Beach Ownership and Access: Professor Orlando Delogu has written a book “Maine’s Beaches are Public Property”! In the book he makes the case that the Moody Beach Supreme Court decisions (Bell 1 and Bell2), should be overturned. More than that, he is ‘soliciting’ the courts to re-examine the case. Prof. Delogu is a University of Maine School of Law professor, public beach access proponent, and familiar face at many of the Laudholm Farm talks on Maine beach access. If ultimately successful, this would provide public beach access to beaches throughout the state.
For more information on Professor Delogu’s efforts, see the following web-pages on FreeMoodyBeach.com:
- See the News page for stories on Delogu’s efforts
- See the Links page for an on-line petition to support the reconsideration of the Moody Beach Supreme Court decisions (link also right here: https://chn.ge/2L3WS23)
- See the Links page for a website for the book.
- See the Links page for a video of Delogu talking about his efforts at Part 6 of the Lauholm farm “Who Owns the Beach” series
Sea-weed case: An obscure case regarding whether companies can harvest seaweed on the intertidal areas in front of ocean-front properties is under consideration by the Maine Supreme Court. Property-owners won in lower courts, and arguments for the appeal were heard in November 2017. A decision expected later this summer. This case can potentially impact the permissible beach activities that can occur on intertidal lands under the Maine Public Trust Doctrine. See the News page for a story about this case.
May 2017: Happy Ending Regarding Access to Cedar Beach! - I added links to articles (see News and Links page), about access to Cedar Beach being secured by residents after a lengthy battle. After first gaining access in the lower courts, then losing access in a supreme court decision, and then considering gaining access by eminent domain, the town finally obtained an agreement with beach entrance’s owner that allows residents beach access as long as there was no rowdy behavior.
7/8/2016: Historical Deeds of Oceanfront Properties - Info posted on the News & Links page regarding a new report that investigates the historical deeds in the Town of Wells and how they addressed or didn't address beach ownership by oceanfront properties. This report was commissioned by the Town of Wells and Laudholm Farm.
7/15/2015: A new page has been added! See the "Improving Access" page for a summary of approaches for improving beach access. Check it out!
5/4/2015: On the "News & Links" page, I made the following additions:
- added news stories regarding the Goose Rock Beach case's Supreme Court reconsideration decision that occured 12/9/2014, and its immediate aftermath.
- added links to YouTube videos of 2014's four part series on Maine beach access issues and background.
- added a link to the Surfrider Foundations Beachapedia.org
4/20/2015: I moved the write-ups on 2014's four part Maine beach access series from the "What's New" page to the "Commentary" page. The intent of the "What's New" page will now solely be to identify when and where updates were made to this website. The "Commentary" page will contain material or recent thoughts on beach access that were generated by the author.