The property along New England's coastline, as well as along its lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, is not only beautiful and valuable, it is also subject to an array of federal, state, and local environmental and land-use controls. Special rules apply to all kinds of activities on coastal and shoreland property, including:

  • Construction, replacement, or enlargement of houses and other structures
  • Construction of docks, piers, revetments, and seawalls
  • Changes from one type of land use to another (e.g., residential to commercial)
  • Maintenance and clearing of trees and other vegetation
  • Beach nourishment projects
  • Use and ownership of intertidal land
  • Public access to coastal and shoreland areas

These uses may trigger the need for approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state departments of environmental protection, and local boards and commissions. In addition, any development in a FEMA-identified floodplain may have issues related to floodplain permits and insurance.

The attorneys in this group are experienced in all facets of coastal and shoreland property ownership. We help landowners use and enjoy their property to the fullest extent, including through development, resource conservation, and protection of property rights. When coastal and shoreland disputes cannot be settled through other means, whether with a neighbor or a government entity, we establish and enforce our clients' rights through litigation and administrative enforcement proceedings.

Firm Highlights

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Maine Public Utilities Commission to Receive Bids for Northern Maine Transmission and Renewable Generation Projects

On or before May 2, 2022, the Maine Public Utilities Commission has requested bids for proposed transmission and generation resources that would boost energy exports from northern Maine. The northern Maine region has long...

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Verrill Alumni Bill Harwood Nominated as Public Advocate for the State of Maine

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Maine PUC Releases Report on Evolution of Electrical Grid to Meet Climate Goals

On December 1, 2021, the Maine PUC released a Report on the first phase of its investigation into necessary design and operational changes to the electrical distribution grid to facilitate the State’s clean energy...

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Verrill Alum Bill Harwood Sworn in as Public Advocate for State of Maine

On January 26, 2022, Maine Governor Janet Mills swore in Bill Harwood as Public Advocate for the State of Maine. Bill was unanimously confirmed by the Maine State Senate and the Legislature’s Joint Standing...

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Kelsey McCutcheon Selected to Join the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Emerging Leaders Initiative

Verrill associate Kelsey McCutcheon has been selected to join the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Emerging Leaders Initiative. The Environmental Law Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, that seeks to "make law work for people...

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Verrill Partner Mathew Todaro Presents at The National Safety Council (NSC) of Northern New England’s 51st Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference

The National Safety Council (NSC) of Northern New England recently held its 51 st Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference in Nashua. The two-day conference began on June 7 th and featured keynote...

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Maine Rural Water Association Annual Conference with Verrill Attorney Mathew J. Todaro

Verrill Attorney Mathew J. Todaro, along with two others, will be presenting at the Maine Rural Water Association’s 41 st Annual Conference and Trade Show. Their presentation, “PFAS and Practicality Regulatory Updates with a...

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Intertidal Court Victory for Property Rights, Marine Conservation, and Public Participation

The Maine Superior Court has dismissed all claims against five intertidal landowners represented by Verrill in Masucci v. Judy’s Moody, LLC . The landowners had been sued because they contacted Maine Marine Patrol to...

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Four Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Chambers & Partners for Energy and Environmental Law in Maine

Verrill attorneys Juliet T. Browne, James I. Cohen, Gordon R. Smith, and Mathew J. Todaro were recently recognized for energy and environmental law in Maine in the 2022 Chambers & Partners Guide . Chambers...

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NextEra Subsidiary Fined $8 Million under MBTA for Eagle Deaths at Wind Power Projects in Western U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that ESI Energy LLC (ESI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Nextera Energy Resources LLC, pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and acknowledged at least...

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