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Waterfront Owners Lose Battle In Beach Dispute

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's supreme court says Goose Rocks Beach belongs to the town of Kennebunkport and not the beachfront landowners who spent years fighting to keep the public off the beach.Goose Rocks Beach landowners contend Maine law says waterfront property extends all the way to the low tide mark, allowing them to exclude the public.

However, there's also a long-established public rights doctrine from 1674 that allows the use of the "intertidal zone" between the high and low tide watermarks for fishing, fowling and navigation.

The Maine Supreme Judicial concluded that there's "no doubt" that beachfront owners failed to establish ownership.

The beach has been the subject of litigation for a decade, but the ruling on Thursday probably won't have far-reaching effects because of the unique history including local deeds.