As one treatise Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the United States puts it: "The sea shore or foreshore [i.e., tidelands] has jurisdiction over these submerged lands, and the is therefore a movable freehold varying as the water secretary of the interior may lease the lands for gradually and imperceptibly recedes or encroaches exploration and drilling of mineral resources.2" . various physical processes affecting the coastal zone. The Basic Legal Rules of Demarcation of Tidal Boundaries A legal boundary defined in terms of the tide-- whether a high-water or a low-water boundary--is the intersection of the relevant local tidal datum with the sloping shore delimiting the boundary.24 No uniform American rule of law concerning de- marcation of tidal boundaries is universally applicable in all federal and state courts. Under the Roman law's principle of communal ownership of the seashore, the - boundary between privately and publicly owned - .
This occurs partly because of this country's dual federal-state system, and partly because of the historical permutations and - combinations that contributed to development of each state's local real property law. coastal lands is the highest wash of the winter waves.2' 2. About 1666-67, a milestone in English common-law tidal boundary determination occurred when Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676), who had espoused the theory of the crown's primafacie ownership of the tidelands, wrote his influential De Jure Maris.2 The respected Lord Hale's legal treatise classified the shoreline on the basis of what he perceived to be three types of tide: "(1st.) The high spring tides. "(2d) The spring tides, which happen twice every month at full and change of the moon: "(3d) Ordinary tides, or nepe Isic] tides, which happen between the full and change of the moon Apparently, Lord Hale introduced the concept that what he termed "nepe" or "neap" tides should be Fia. Sir Isaac Newton (From Essays on the Life and Work considered the "ordinary tides" for property boundary of Newton, by Augustus De Morgan). In his treatise, he concluded that lands subject to inundation by tides of the first two of his three classes can be privately owned, but that the commnon-lawu urist of the 17th centur, realized that foreshore owned by the crown extends landward as Lord Hale's equating "neap tides" with "ordinary far as it is covered by "the ordinary flux of the sea." tides' was unscientific. for the next century As Shalowitz correctly points out: and a half.
which are the fluxes of the sea at those tides that happen at the two equinoxials; . the disciplines of law and science apparently did not comnlprchcnd one anotfher's views about the Lord Hale's designation of 'neap tides' nature of the tide.
shows that it is susceptible of two interpretations: [)uring the IXth and 19th centuries. defines high seas as "all as the continental shelf.
Each state is free to adopt its own rules of real property. The convention gives the coastal nation exclusive sov- 6.