Yesterday’s Boston Globe newspaper (July 24, 2016) had an article in it about prime shore line on Cape Cod that is privately owned by some wealthy people. Even with reading the article, this seemed fundamentally wrong. To me it is akin to claiming you own the air.
Our nation’s seashore, in my opinion, should all be public lands in the hands of the federal, state or local governments. And that seashore should extend 10 feet beyond the highest high tide point. Believe it or not, and depending upon where you live, the high tide point can vary with the changes of the moon.
I have also seen where such homeowners have banded together to deny access routes to public beaches when such routes are near their property. This too seems wrong.
Newport Rhode Island is home to some of the most expensive oceanfront properties in the national and yet there is a public walkway which runs between their mansions and the water below. It is a rocky waterfront so there is no beach but it does show that accommodation is possible.
Anyway, back to those homeowners who somehow seem to have gotten beach area included in their property rights. The right and magnanimous thing to do would be for them to sign over their land to the town/city in which they live. Keeping the public off the beach because you happen to own it is both selfish and morally wrong.