Supreme Court Finalizes Decision on Marine Submerged Lands

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a final decree regarding Alaska's assertion of ownership of certain marine submerged lands in the southeast portion of the state. The court finalized its earlier ruling that the federal government retained ownership of those portions of the Alexander Archipelago more than three geographical (nautical) miles from shore because those waters do not constitute historic inland waters. The federal government retained ownership of those portions of North Bay, South Bay, Sitka Sound, and Cordova Bay more than three geographical miles from shore because those waters do not constitute juridical bays. The federal government also retained ownership of marine submerged lands within Glacier Bay National Monument. With minor exceptions, Alaska has ownership of marine submerged lands within the Tongass National Forest. Alaska v. United States, No. 128 Source: HK Law

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