Connecticut Seaweed Law: Better Act Fast

Seaweed

Connecticut has a law about seaweed. Actually, the statute is titled “Marine vegetable deposits” which I guess is a politically correct term for seaweed.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 50-8 reads as follows:

No right in any marine vegetable deposit, thrown up by the sea or any navigable river shall be shall be acquired by any person gathering it together upon any public beach, unless he removes it within twenty-four hours thereafter.

Now your life is complete. What’s perhaps more interesting than the law itself is that there are 3 different Connecticut Supreme Court cases that deal with property rights in seaweed. It seems that seaweed litigation was “hot” in the 19th century.

The oldest case that I could find on seaweed in Connecticut held that the right to take seaweed growing and accumulating on the bed of a navigable stream below low water mark is in the public and not exclusively in the riparian proprietor. Chapman v. Kimball, 9 Conn. 38 (1831).

I wonder if 19th century law firms had seaweed law practice groups?