[Tagging] Coastline for rivers, estuaries and mangroves?

Graeme Fitzpatrick graemefitz1 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 23:30:41 UTC 2018

On Mon, 10 Sep 2018 at 08:25, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> So are we getting any closer to consensus on where the coastline should
> cross the river? I think only if it is "somewhere between the tidal limit
> and the sea". Are all "crossing points" then equally valid? Or can we
> expect strong disagreements (especially at the limits) and possible edit
> wars?

Unfortunately, I don't think we are ever all going to agree - some people
are adamant about the tidal limit, while other's are equally convinced that
it should be where the river enters the sea, & both arguments are just as
logical as the other.

I think part of the problem is the lack of a precise definition of just
what is the "coastline"? eg Merriam-Webster dictionary "a line that forms
the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake" which could well
mean that the coastline goes up a river, but how far?

While searching for a better answer, I did however find this:

Some of the highlights include:

"Congress reacted to these decisions by enacting the Submerged Lands Act of
1953.[10] Congress defined "coast line" to mean "the line of ordinary low
water along that portion of the coast which is in direct contact with the
open sea and the line marking the seaward limit of inland waters"

"the Supreme Court set the meaning of "coast line" in its earlier
decree.[32] The Court defined the term to mean "the line of ordinary low
water along that portion of the coast which is in direct contact with the
open sea and the line marking the seaward limits of inland waters.""

"During the late 1950s, the coastal countries of the world proposed,
discussed, and drafted a treaty known as the Convention on the Territorial
Sea and Contiguous Zone, April 29, 1958.[34] The hope was to provide
uniformity in the delineation of the nations' territorial sea. Rather than
using the term "coast line," the Convention used the term "baseline" in the
measurement of the territorial sea. Article 3 defines the "baseline" for
measuring the territorial sea as "the low water line along the coast as
marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State."
The Convention was ratified by the United States in 1961 and became
effective in 1964.[35] It is as a result of the Convention that the term
"baseline" is used regarding coastline issues."

"By applying both the Convention and the Submerged Lands Act to Article X,
section 16, Florida Constitution, the following results:

"A. 'Coastline' is the low water line that meets the shore along the coast
of Florida which is in direct contact with the open sea. A coastline can
never begin in open water; a coastline, in plain terms, is where the water
meets the land."

Now, I would interpret all that as meaning that coastline & baseline are
the same thing, so that the coastline should follow the line of the coast,
cutting across the mouth of any rivers?


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