Section 9-15-55

Retention by state of title to certain filled lands; rights of access.

(a) The state shall retain title to any lands of the state lying seaward of the mean high tide line that are filled in the course of a beach project undertaken by a coastal municipality pursuant to Article 11 of Chapter 47 of Title 11 with the permit of the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as provided in Section 9-15-56.

(b) The title to additional filled lands shall be retained by the state to the extent that the proportions of any state-owned lands filled in the course of a permitted beach project undertaken by a coastal municipality are subsequently increased seaward by accretion or any other natural or artificial fill process.

(c) Notwithstanding any rule of decision or principle of common law recognized prior to May 23, 2000, the retention of title by the state pursuant to this section shall be recognized regardless of the participation, consent, or objection of adjacent or abutting riparian or littoral landowners with respect to the filling or with respect to the beach project.

(d) Any riparian or littoral landowner who as a result of the construction of a beach project and the operation of this section ceases to be a holder of title to the resulting mean high tide line shall be entitled to all statutory and common-law riparian or littoral rights of access to the mean high tide line across the state-owned lands filled in the course of a permitted beach project or by subsequent natural or artificial fill process, including, without limitation, access rights for ingress, egress, boating, bathing, and fishing. The exercise of such rights of access shall be subject to reasonable regulation by the coastal municipality with the concurrence of the commissioner, acting through the Lands Division of the department, for the purpose of protection, stabilization, and maintenance of beach project sand and sand stabilization structures and vegetation.

(Act 2000-676, p. 1365, §1.)