Document Type

Report

Editor

Catherine Schmitt

Publisher

Maine Sea Grant College Program

Publication Date

2007

Publisher location

Orono, ME

Publication Number

MEU-S-07-001

Abstract/ Summary

A tide of demographic and economic change is moving through coastal towns, harbors, and communities throughout the United States. As the various regions and states confront the resulting conflicts over access to beaches, shorelines, and waterways, they are recognizing the need to identify and share tools and solutions.

In December 2006, Maine Sea Grant, with support from Hawaii Sea Grant and an advisory committee from the National Sea Grant network and Coastal Zone Management programs, surveyed over 140 extension professionals, coastal managers, and other individuals to characterize the scope of coastal access issues nationwide and the effects on coastal communities, and to inventory solutions and tools being implemented by Sea Grant and other programs.

Viewed through the eyes of survey respondents, there are no exclusively regional trends—access to and from the coast is a challenge in communities from Alaska and Hawaii to California, Oregon, and Washington, along the Gulf Coast states, around the Florida peninsula, and up the entire East Coast to Maine. With nowhere to swim and nowhere to land, recreational, commercial, and industrial users of the coast are competing for access.

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