Connecticut Seaweed Law: Better Act Fast


Connecticut has a law about seaweed. Actually, the statute is titled “Marine vegetable deposits” which I guess is a politically correct term for seaweed.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 50-8 reads as follows:

No right in any marine vegetable deposit, thrown up by the sea or any navigable river shall be shall be acquired by any person gathering it together upon any public beach, unless he removes it within twenty-four hours thereafter. 

Now your life is complete. What’s perhaps more interesting than the law itself is that there are 3 different Connecticut Supreme Court cases that deal with property rights in seaweed. It seems that seaweed litigation was “hot” in the 19th century.

The oldest case that I could find on seaweed in Connecticut held that the right to take seaweed growing and accumulating on the bed of a navigable stream below low water mark is in the public and not exclusively in the riparian proprietor. Chapman v. Kimball, 9 Conn. 38 (1831).

I wonder if 19th century law firms had seaweed law practice groups?

Ryan McKeen is a trial attorney at Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2016, he was honored by the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame for securing one of the highest settlements in the state. He is a New Leader in the Law. ABA 100. Avvo 10. 40 under 40 for Hartford Business Journal. He has been quoted in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Hartford Business Journal. He focuses his practice on Connecticut Personal Injury law. He loves what he does. Contact him or 860 471 8333

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