The Boundary of the Sovereign

by Paul T. O'Hargan, First Vice President; Tri-County Engrg., Inc., Naples, FL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 1, Pg. 15-19

Document Type: Journal Paper


The mean high water mark has for many centuries been the boundary between public and private lands, its origin is based on natural phenomena and law, it is an extremely fair and impartial boundary line. Common laws dating some 1500 years ago undertook to define the shore. Case laws lead to the U.S. definition of mean high tide and that this line should be fixed by exclusive resort to tide cases. The quest for the marshlands is causing an erosion of private property rights and abortive, easier and faster, methods of mean high water location. The sovereign boundary—the mean high water line—is becoming more important as concern for our environment heightens.

Subject Headings: Water level | Domain boundary | Tides | Water policy | Public private partnership | Private sector | Laws | Shores

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