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Recent Changes to California’s Offshore Boundary

Last week, American Surveyor published an article regarding a recent United States Supreme Court decree that changed how California’s offshore boundary is defined.

For many years, the boundary between California’s and United States federal offshore territory was ‘ambulatory’, meaning its location was controlled by a coastline that moved, subject to natural erosion and accretion. More specifically, this line was defined as three geographical miles seaward from the line of mean lower low water per 382 U.S. 448, 1966. On December 15, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decree made this offshore boundary fixed (non-ambulatory) per a legal description in UTM coordinates.

For anyone studying Land Surveying, Boundary Law, Littoral Rights, or GIS Boundary Mapping, this article cites numerous historical cases and provides useful insight on some potentially controversial legal precedents.

PS – We owe sincere thanks to Dr. Fareed Nader at CSU Fresno’s Geomatics Engineering program for bringing this to our attention, and to Mr. Pallamary for the article.

jhickok

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