A Judicial Affirmation of the Public’s Common Law Right to Use All of North Carolina’s Dry-sand Beaches

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Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


In Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle, Nov. 17, 2015, the North Carolina Court of Appeals unqualifiedly held that the “ocean beaches of North Carolina … are subject to public trust rights.”

This case means is that all the dry-sand beaches, whether natural or nourished, are open to public use for purposes related to the enjoyment of the State’s ocean waters and shorelines. Private oceanfront landowners cannot exclude the public from any portion of the dry-sand beach even if the private landowner’s legal title includes the dry- sand beach.

Until the Court’s decision in the Nies case, no North Carolina court opinion directly addressed the question of whether all dry-sand beaches of the State were, in fact, open to public use…

Read Full Article, Legal Tides

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South Carolina faces an historic opportunity this legislative session, with a vote on the floor likely in the coming weeks. The time could not come soon enough, as our coastal communities face record-breaking storm surges, sea level rise, and flooding events…

Drawing a Line In The Sand In Malibu, CA, CNN (09-06-2015)
As it nears its 40th year, the California Coastal Commission is stepping up its efforts to make California’s coastline accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford to hoard the view. In theory, a person could walk along the water for the length of California, from the Oregon state line to the Mexican border, without setting foot on private property…


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