Document Type



3rd edition


Schmitt, C.

Dest, P.

Grant, K.


Maine Sea Grant College Program

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

Getting to coastal waters in Maine can sometimes be a challenge, for despite the state’s 5,400 miles of mainland and island shoreline, only about 12% is in public ownership. Yet the public does have longstanding, although limited, rights to support traditional coastal uses along privately owned shoreline. In addition to the rights to “fish, fowl, and navigate,” members of the public have a variety of other means to secure access to shoreline areas and ocean waters. With more people attracted to Maine’s coastline for a variety of uses, it is important to understand the range of access rights that accommodate public interests. At the same time, it is helpful to understand the legal balance that respects private property.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Duff, John. 2016. Public Shoreline Access in Maine: A Citizen’s Guide to Ocean and Coastal Law, Third Edition. Orono, ME: Maine Sea Grant College Program.


publisher's version of the published document