Public Access to Beaches with Posted No Trespassing Signs

by George

I see a lot of beaches posted as private property. I've tried looking up the laws but haven't found anything that really made things clear. I'd like to be able to walk along the surf and search for shells, glass etc. From what I've seen, it looks like you're allowed to walk at least below the high tide line, but if someone bothers us with trespassing accusations, I want to know I'm within the law.

Hi George,

You are not alone in trying to get a clear understanding of what public access permissions are granted when a private owner has purchased beach front property.

Here is the law in beachfront Public access:

While the state may convey the private rights associated with tidelands, it may never convey the public rights, and the private owner may never interfere with the public’s right to access tidal waterways and their shores adjacent to their property. While the private owner does have the right to use the conveyed property for the approved use, they must also be aware of the special nature of the lands and the public trust rights bestowed upon them.

While the explanation and the full description of the law may be a bit lengthy, it the best description I could find, please visit


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