Water, Water, Everywhere: A Primer on Riparian Rights
October 10, 2019
John C Armentano discusses the laws concerning riparian rights. The laws are as extensive as the waters lapping the shorelines of New York State. Beneath the waters of Long Island lie lands granted by kings, dukes, and royal governors, which are subject to riparian rights along navigable waterways. Under the common law, the term “riparian” rights refers to land along a river, while “littoral” rights are found along a sea or lake. This distinction is fast becoming obsolete and often blurred by courts and practitioners alike. As a result, the term riparian rights encompasses all areas of shoreline in New York.1 For ease and simplicity, the term “riparian rights” will be used herein to discuss both.
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