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Tidewater

public, waters and subject

TIDEWATER, arms of the sea, bays, creeks and rivers where the tide ebbs and flows are public, and all persons may use the same for the purpose of navigation and fishing, un less restrained by law; in such waters the tide must actually ebb and flow. It is the rise and fall of the water, and not the proportion of salt water to fresh that determines whether or not the particular portion of a stream is within tide water ; the same determination applies to small streams as well as large ones. Open sea is the property of all nations; the rights and privileges therein, if any being restricted to a specified distance from the shore generally three miles. In the United States the titles to tidewaters and lands are vested in the States abutting thereon, or of its citizens, but are subject, however, to the constitutional rights of the United States. The Congress of the United States, under its power to regulate commerce, has the control of all navigable waters, and for such purposes they are the public property of the nation and subject to legislation; the test of navigability being whether or no the waters form a con tinued highway over which commerce may be carried on.

At various bathing beaches where the ocean frontage has become very valuable, private parties and owners of bathing pavilions often occupy,the region between high and low water, and shut out or try to shut the public there from. This they have no right to do. Neither has any municipality a right to construct a bridge over a tidewater stream so as to ob struct navigation, which is the right of the public. The mariner also has the right to land wherever the shore connects with a public highway. Owners of land or a tidal shore have a right to build a pier or wharf for convenience in landing and embarking, but they must allow passage along the tide line, and must not block navigation. The right of fishing in tidal waters cannot be stopped by any adjacent landowner, though it is subject to local enactment for the protection of fish. Oyster beds often lie in tidal waters, and have been the subject of much dispute. See RIPARIAN RIGHTS.