Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's The Public's Right To Use Long Island Sound, Despite What Some Shorefront Landowners Might Think

Those of us who live in New York or Connecticut own Long Island Sound. I don’t mean that figuratively. The waters of Long Island Sound below the mean high tide line belong to the people of New York and Connecticut, and are held in trust by the government for everyone to use.

Unfortunately for a fellow from Massachusetts, police in Branford were unaware of that basic fact and told him to get out of the water near a condo development. The good news is that the Massachusetts man, Larry McCarthy, knew what he was doing and is using the opportunity to educate the local cops and others. From the New Haven Register:

He said police were not aware of the "high-water mark" rule that gave him the right to go fishing near the neighboring Turtle Bay condominiums. They forced him out after a resident complained.

He is in the process of filing a formal complaint and plans to attend an upcoming Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

"I told (the officer) that I have every right to be here," McCarthy recalled, after being asked to leave or face arrest. "I said, ‘No, you won’t. I can walk from here to Jersey and you can’t do a damn thing about it.’"

The Connecticut DEP website explains the public trust doctrine, here. I suggest asserting your right at every opportunity, especially in places (Greenwich and now Branford come to mind) where the locals make it clear that they don’t want us.


Blogger Sam said...

Those poor rich folks have confused "riparian rights" with the fact that they don't own s--t under the mean high water mark. THe term "riparian rights" needs to be deleted from the American lexicography, as it really only applied to the King of England, anyway.

10:15 PM  

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