This month, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is revealing our newly redesigned “Accessing the Coast” websites.
Escalating coastal and island real estate values are putting coastal property beyond the reach of working families who depend on the water for a living. Access points disappear as changing land use eclipses traditional uses of the coast.
Communities, waterfront users, and landowners are all affected by the decline in coastal access to the coast. Beach visitors lose their favorite spots, and waterfront landowners fear liability, crowding, and inappropriate use if they let the public use their land.
The list of challenges is long. To help communities address some of these challenges, the websites contain information about a variety of legal topics, including:
- The public trust doctrine,
- Landowner liability,
- State conservation and access programs, and
- Local government zoning authority.
The “Accessing the Mississippi Coast” (http://www.accessingthemscoast.org/) and “Accessing the Alabama Coast” (http://www.accessingthealcoast.org/) websites are designed to provide Mississippi and Alabama communities with information and tools to help them address local coastal access issues. The websites first launched in 2009 and are an adaptation of the “Accessing the Maine Coast” developed by Maine Sea Grant and its partners. We are excited to reveal our new streamlined website design. Please visit the sites, look around, and let us know what you think!