Report on the Use, Development, and Administration of Granted Tidelands and Submerged Lands



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California State Lands Commission


The State of California, in its sovereign capacity, possesses legal title to: 1. Tidelands, i.e., the area situated between the ocean's low and high water marks on the State's shoreline, including inlets or tributaries, covered by the daily flux and reflux of the tides; 2. Submerged lands lying: (a) beneath inland portions of the ocean and thence seaward three geographical miles from the coastline; and (b) in the beds of navigable streams and lakes. During the 125 years since California's statehood, the State Legislature has, by statute, granted salt marsh, tide, and submerged lands whether filled or unfilled in trust to political subdivisions of the State principally for the general purposes of commerce, navigation and fisheries. Since the first legislative grant of sovereign tide and submerged lands to the City of Martinez in 1851, nearly 300 statutes have been enacted which have granted over 180 specific parcels of such lands to public agencies. Many of these parcels were considered as additions to and extensions of original grants, particularly when specific areas were adjacent to and contiguous with lands previously granted, and the subsequent statutes generally provide for the same purposes, the same requirements of compliance, and the same reservation of rights by the State. At present, seventy-one trustees administer approximately 330,000 acres of the State's tide and submerged lands. It is to these lands, their uses and the problems associated with their administration, that this report is addressed.


205 pages


California, granted tidelands, environmental policy, wetlands, coastal zone management