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Tideland is the wet sand area between the high and low tides that the tidal action covers each day. Tideland is also referred to as the foreshore. Normally this land is owned by the owner of the land which fronts on the sea at that point. These concepts of high and low water marks are derived from the public trust doctrine. The public trust doctrine declares that title to lands beneath navigable waters, including the tideland, were held by the federal government and vested in a state upon its admission into the Union. The state holds title to such lands in a trust for its people and can only dispose of such lands to promote the interests of the public. Most of the states that border either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans or the Gulf of Mexico view the mean high tide line as the seaward limit of private property, whereas only a minority of these states views the mean low tide line as the seaward limit, subject to public rights of navigation and fishing in the tidelands. 

Cases such as this one from California, explain that “tidelands are properly those lands lying between the lines of mean high and low tide covered and uncovered successively by the ebb and flow thereof.”

[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]