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Waterfront Properties in Long Island: Understanding Riparian and Littoral Rights

Owning a waterfront property is a dream for many, and Long Island offers some of the most enchanting waterfront locales in New York. However, the ownership of such properties brings a unique set of legal considerations and responsibilities, particularly in the realms of riparian and littoral rights. These terms may seem a bit arcane, but they are crucial concepts that every waterfront property owner should comprehend thoroughly.

What are Riparian and Littoral Rights?

Riparian Rights

Riparian rights pertain to properties adjacent to flowing waters such as rivers and streams. These rights allow property owners reasonable use of the water, ensuring they can access, use, and enjoy the water flowing past their land. However, these rights are subject to state and local regulations, ensuring that the waterway remains navigable and that the usage does not harm the ecosystem or other users.

Littoral Rights

Littoral rights, on the other hand, are associated with properties abutting ocean fronts, seas, or lakes—essentially, bodies of water with a static or slow-moving current. Like riparian rights, littoral rights allow property owners to access and use the water adjacent to their property, but they also come with their own set of regulatory considerations.

How Do These Rights Impact Property Ownership?

Access and Usage

Both riparian and littoral rights ensure that property owners can access and use the water adjacent to their properties. This could mean boat launching, fishing, swimming, or other recreational activities. However, these activities are subject to regulations to ensure they do not impede navigation or harm the environment.

Building and Renovating

Property owners must often seek permissions and permits when building docks and piers or making other structural changes to the waterfront. Regulations ensure that any construction is conducted responsibly, safeguarding the environment and maintaining the waterway's navigability and natural flow.

Navigating Legal Nuances with Expert Guidance

Navigating the legal waters of riparian and littoral rights can be complex. At Taub & Bogaty, PLLC, we specialize in providing expert legal guidance to ensure that your waterfront property ownership is smooth sailing. From understanding your rights and responsibilities to assisting with permits and navigating disputes, our experienced team is here to assist.

Contact Us for Expert Legal Assistance

For detailed legal assistance and guidance on riparian and littoral rights in Long Island, feel free to contact us at Taub & Bogaty, PLLC. We are committed to providing comprehensive legal support tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

📞 Phone: (516) 531-2500 📧Email:

Navigating the legal aspects of waterfront property ownership doesn’t have to be daunting. With professional legal guidance, you can enjoy the myriad pleasures of owning a piece of Long Island’s beautiful waterfront, knowing that your legal matters are in expert hands.

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