Resources
Experience

Protection of Private Coastal Property Rights for Conservation of Intertidal Habitat

Verrill successfully represented coastal landowners in first-impression litigation against a Canadian seaweed harvesting company with global operations to determine who owns the sea plants that are growing on private intertidal property in Maine. In March 2019, the Maine Supreme Court ruled unanimously in our clients’ favor on appeal, holding that the public does not have the right to harvest the seaweed growing on private intertidal property without the landowner’s consent. The case addressed an open question that caused controversy on the Maine coast for decades as the commercial harvest of seaweed increased dramatically. The appeal drew significant public interest and the submission of 13 separate briefs from amici curiae. Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, Ltd., 2019 ME 45, 206 A.3d 283.

Firm Highlights

Matter

Coastal Property Rights in Kennebunkport

We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to...

Matter

Shoreland Zone Development and Land Use

Verrill represents landowners and developers in siting structures in the shoreland zone (including the seacoast) and ensuring ongoing compliance with the restrictions that govern clearing and development in the shoreland zone.

Matter

Piers, Seawalls and Sand dunes

We have assisted clients in obtaining federal, state, and local regulatory approvals for seawalls, piers, boat ramps, other water-dependent structures, and dune nourishment projects up and down the coast of Maine.

Publication/Podcast

Maine Supreme Court Decides Seaweed Is a Plant, Not a Fish

After deliberating for a year and a half in Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has unanimously held that rockweed, a type of seaweed that grows on rocks in the intertidal...

Publication/Podcast

Saving Seaweed Via Maine Property Law

On June 13, 2019, Law360 published environmental attorney Gordon Smith's article, "Saving Seaweed Via Maine Property Law." Gordon discusses Ross v. Acadian Seaplants Ltd. , a decision by the Maine Supreme Court, where conservation-minded...

Matter

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program

Verrill represents and advises waterfront landowners in all aspects of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, including appeals of floodplain map designations, permitting structures and other development in mapped floodplains, and negotiation of FEMA insurance...

Matter

Aquaculture

Verrill represents both growers and coastal landowners regarding leasing and licensing of aquaculture enterprises.

Matter

Enforcement

Verrill has negotiated and litigated with federal, state, and local entities to resolve violations related to coastal development, including homes, docks, seawalls, shoreland clearing, and commercial fishing operations. We have also negotiated beach management...