Throughout the Maine coast, conflicts over access to and from the water are becoming more common, according to a press release. Now, people on the coast have a new resource to help them understand the legal background and tools available to address access concerns. Maine Sea Grant, in partnership with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Coastal Program, and the Island Institute, announce the launch of Accessing the Maine Coast [http://www.seagrant.umaine.edu/accesslaw].
The project partners have assessed extensively the need for coastal access information through workshops, public meetings, and a 2007 report on access issues nationwide. Recognizing the confusing nature of Maine’s coastal access laws, and the desire for diverse interests to resolve conflicts cooperatively, Maine Sea Grant created the site based on research conducted by the Center for Law and Innovation at the University of Maine Law School and funded by the National Sea Grant Law Center.
Accessing the Maine Coast is not a listing of public access points in Maine. Rather, it is an information resource for coastal property owners, beach and waterfront users, public and environmental interest groups, and municipal, state, and federal governments. The site offers legal tools to address the specific coastal access questions and needs of these stakeholder groups.