(a)  The public has traditionally and customarily had access to enjoy and freely use the ocean beaches and estuarine and public trust waters of the coastal region for recreational purposes and the State has a responsibility to provide continuous access to these resources.  It is the policy of the State to foster, improve, enhance and ensure optimum access to the public beaches and waters of the 20 county coastal region.  Access shall be consistent with rights of private property owners and the concurrent need to protect important coastal natural resources such as sand dunes and coastal marsh vegetation.

(b)  The State has created an access program for the purpose of acquiring, improving and maintaining waterfront recreational property at frequent intervals throughout the coastal region for public access to these important public trust resources.

(c)  In addition, some properties, due to their location, are subject to severe erosion so that development is not possible or feasible.  In these cases, a valid public purpose may be served by the donation or acquisition of these properties for public access.

(d)  The primary purpose of the public access program is to provide funds to acquire or develop land for public access, including parking as authorized by G.S. 113A-134.3(c).  Boating and fishing facilities are eligible for funding under the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program provided that pedestrian access is also incorporated in the design of the facility.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑124; 113A‑134.1; 113A‑134.3;

Eff. March 1, 1979;

Amended Eff. February 1, 2009; January 1, 1998; March 1, 1988; March 1, 1985; July 1, 1982.