Do You Know Where Your Intertidal Zone Is?
To the editor:
While much ink has recently been devoted to “the intertidal zone,” most people don’t know what that is. It’s the area between the mean high tide line and the mean low tide line.
I don’t believe that most waterfront property owners would have a problem with people strolling across that area at low tide, even if they weren’t carrying a fishing rod or a fowling piece — which the Colonial Ordinances of 1641-1647 say you must have to make such a crossing legally. You may also cross the zone in a kayak at high tide, since navigation, with fishing and fowling, is a permitted activity.
The fact is that most folks appear to believe that the law grants them the right to use the entire beach.
How do you suppose a home owner whose house backed up to a conservation area would feel if a strange family chose to have a picnic in his or her back yard? People who pitch a blanket or have a volleyball game on somebody’s private beach are doing the same thing.
And that’s what happens when local officials lead others to believe that they have, or should have, the right to use the intertidal zone, without also carefully explaining exactly what that zone is.
Provincetown and Truro