Definition of "Littoral rights"

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Xena Vallone, Real Estate Agent Xena Vallone Realty

Littoral refers to a piece of land bordering a large body of water that is not moving, such as an ocean, pond, sea, or lake. Many find "littoral" obscure since it's not widespread in everyday discourse. Most typically, littoral defines beachfront or lakefront. Therefore, littoral rights in real estate define rights regarding properties abutting water. More explicitly, they describe the rights of such real estate owners in the shore's and the adjoining water's usage. 

Are you a beachfront property owner? Would you be interested in learning more about your littoral rights and how they affect your chances of selling your estate? Contact the best local real estate agents today!

What does a littoral zone mean?

People often refer to a littoral area as a coastal or intertidal zone. However, littoral may have various definitions based on the scientific disciplines. For instance, military people will use the term differently from marine biologists. The water's erosive power forms certain types of landforms, such as dunes and wetlands. You can explore the beauties of wetlands while visiting Mono Lake in California

Littoral zones create unique fauna and flora.

We call the natural movement of the littoral along the coasts the littoral drift. In addition, water's availability contributed to a colorful variety of animals and plants emerging, an aspect you can gain inspiration from when


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reating your own friendly fauna in your backyard. 

A littoral zone is where plants can grow on the water's margins, close to the shore, more precisely, in the interface between the water and the solid ground. These plants work as a natural filtration system by blocking the physical debris and run-offs of fertilizers from getting into the water. You can find here shrubs and trees as well that are superb components of arboriculture.

Don’t confuse the littoral zone with a riparian land! 

Note that a littoral zone differs from riparian land, a property bordering flowing water, for instance, a stream or river. So, if you're living by the mighty Mississippi River, you'll have to adhere to riparian rights.

Littoral rights in the United States

Littoral rights define the shore's possession, enjoyment, and use. Suppose your land has an oceanfront, meaning it borders tidal waters. In that case, you're the owner of 100 rods below high water or the top low water line. The state law determined that the great public can exclusively use the piece of land between high and low water. You can find the doctrine of littoral rights outlined in various US states' case laws or statute laws. 

For example, the tourist-friendly state of Florida concluded that littoral rights embrace the owner's right to have accessto the ocean. Secondly, proprietors can use the water to a reasonable degree. Also, you may enjoy the view your waterfront home provides you. Florida courts declared that "littoral rights are private property rights that cannot be taken from upland owners without just compensation." 

(Source: Walton County v. Stop Beach Renourishment, 998 So.2d 1102 (Fla. 2008).

Land developers and investors purchase such zones to build trendy tourist attractions, luxury waterfront homes, and hotels.

Legal dilemma

Lakeshore rights can be a tricky business. Suppose you call the piece of land in the vicinity of standing water yours. In that case, tourists, travelers, and passers-by are not allowed to trespass. The Michigan Supreme Court brought a thought-provoking verdict regarding this subject in 2005. Property owners near the Great Lakes wanted to stop foreigners from ever stepping on their “beach.” The Court ruled against them, stating that beach walking does not equal trespassing!

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