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Florida Beach Property Rights Case at US Supreme Court

Steve Combs traveled to DC on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation Atlanta Chapter to hear oral arguments at the US Supreme Court on the Destin, Florida beach property rights case. Mike Sturdivant of the Emerald Coast Chapter and Julie Lawson of the DC Chapter also attended.

Steve has lived and surfed in the Destin area for over 20 years and also practices law in Atlanta when not surfing. Steve has seen the private beach signs popping up and the seawalls that threaten walks down the beach. As storms tear away at the coastline, private landowners are trying to hold their ground, literally and figuratively. Significant public tax dollars are spent to renourish these private beach areas. The State of Florida claims ownership of the new sand bordering the water. Now the US Supreme Court has a chance to settle this dispute.

Surfrider Foundation filed an amicus "friend of the court" brief. From the Surfrider Foundation press release:

"Private landowners should not have the right to unilaterally act in a manner that negatively impacts coastlines or public access to the beach. The State of Florida has adopted a reasonable approach that balances these important public and private rights," says Steve Combs of the Surfrider Foundation Atlanta Chapter who travels to Florida beaches on the weekends.

The case is highly politicized. You can view the spectrum of summaries at A good general summary is at NPR. A more lawyerly analysis is at SCOTUSBLOG.