Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, Ltd.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Property Owners in this property dispute, holding that rockweed, a species of seaweed that grows in Maine's intertidal zone, is private property that belongings to the adjoining upland landowner who owns the intertidal soil in fee simple and is therefore not public property.
Acadian Seaplants, Ltd. harvested rockweed attached to intertidal land without permission of Property Owners, owners of upland property where the rockweed grew. Property Owners commenced this action against Acadian seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. The superior court entered judgment in favor of Property Owners. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that rockweed in the intertidal zone belongs to the upland property owner and is therefore not held in trust by the State for public use and cannot be harvested by members of the public as a matter of right.