Federal-State Conflicts & A 12-Mile Territorial Sea

by Richard K. Littleton,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The growing tension between coastal states and the federal government can be lessened by amending the 1953 Submerged Lands Act to give coastal states a 12-mile territorial sea. For equitable reasons and to ensure congressional approval of such an amendment, the revenues from the new addition would be distributed among all 50 states. This 12-mile state ownership will clarify which government is in charge within the 12-mile zone, and will reduce the number of conflicts between state and federal governments. In addition, the fact that all 50 states will benefit will make this plan an appropriate vehicle for additional provisions which can establish effective state influence in EEZ decisions.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Seas and oceans | Laws | Tension | Revenues | State government | Coastal environment | Submerging

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