Legislation Proposed To End Private Beach Ownership

A bill being proposed by Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr and State Rep Dylan Fernandes looks to essentially end private beach ownership in Massachusetts, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

A state law known as Chapter 91 limits non-public beach use to fishing, fowling and navigation, a statute that dates back to the 1600s and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Cyr and Fernandes propose adding recreation to the defined uses of the shoreline, and in their view, that definition would give virtually limitless access to the public to the low tide line of currently privately owned beaches.

Past efforts dating back over a century to get the law changed have suffered numerous legal defeats in Massachusetts and Maine.

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Photo: Getty Images

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