Government & Public Entities
Government & Public Entities More on...
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Coastal Access Toolkit
What planning process exists for securing access in waterfront towns? More...

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Common Law & Statutes
For information about land ownership and More...

Government & Public Entities

Municipalities and governments have unique tools available for creating and maintaining access, such as land use planning and regulations that protect natural resources and water quality. Governments have authority from several fundamental legal doctrines to use their regulatory power on behalf of the public, with restrictions.

How can state and local governments plan for coastal access?

Comprehensive planning and harbor planning ordinances can reduce the types of development that are incompatible with access, and provide incentives for developers to provide access to the public. See Plan and Regulate for Access.

How can we enhance existing or create new coastal access in our jurisdiction?

How can we secure or manage existing public access?

What is the role of land trusts as public interest entities in planning, enhancing, creating, securing and managing access?

Land Trusts and conservation organizations can serve as third party interests in addressing access issues. For more information, contact Maine Coast Heritage and Maine Land Trust Network, both at, the Land Trust Alliance, and The Trust for Public Lands.

What federal action is being taken to support working waterfront access?

As of this writing, members of Maine’s Congressional delegation, Senator Susan Collins and Representative Chellie Pingree, continue their attempts to leverage several funding mechanisms in support of working waterfronts. Senator Collins’ bill, The Working Waterfront Preservation Act of 2005, proposed amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to direct grant funds to commercial fisheries and aquaculture. Representative Pingree’s proposed amendment to the Coastal Zone Management Act, The Keep America’s Waterfront Working Act of 2009, expands the definition of working waterfront to additional “water-dependent commercial activities” including boat building and tourism. Most recently, Representative Pingree proposed The Coastal Jobs Creation Act of 2010 which offers no definition of working waterfront but proposes to amend a number of existing statutes to fund research and general coastal restoration. Each of these bills proposes to use public expenditures to purchase and hold waterfront. For more information on federal legislation, contact the Maine office of the sponsoring legislator.