2020 Regular Session
To: Marine Resources
By: Representatives Ladner, Felsher
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-15-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE RIGHTS OF A RIPARIAN OWNER FOR THE PURPOSES OF STATE-OWNED LANDS ON DEER ISLAND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-15-9. The sole right of planting, cultivating in racks or other structures, and gathering oysters and erecting bathhouses and other structures in front of any land bordering on the Gulf of Mexico or Mississippi Sound or waters tributary thereto belongs to the riparian owner and extends not more than seven hundred fifty (750) yards from the shore, except for state-owned lands on Deer Island, which shall be not more than four hundred (400) yards from shore, measuring from the average low water mark, but where the distance from shore to shore is less than fifteen hundred (1500) yards, the owners of either shore may plant and gather to a line equidistant between the two (2) shores, but no person shall plant in any natural channel so as to interfere with navigation, and such riparian rights shall not include any reef or natural oyster bed and does not extend beyond any channel. A riparian owner shall comply with the Coastal Wetlands Protection Act in exercising the use of these riparian rights. Stakes of such frail materials as will not injure any watercraft may be set up to designate the bounds of the plantation, but navigation shall not be impeded thereby. The riparian owner shall clearly mark such cultivation racks and other structures. The commission may adopt regulations to require that the racks are adequately marked to ensure the safety of users of public waters. Any oysters planted by such riparian owner are the private property of such riparian owner, subject to the right of the commission to adopt reasonable rules and regulations as to the planting and gathering of such oysters. All bathhouses, piers, wharfs, docks and pavilions, or other structures owned by riparian owner are likewise the private property of such owner, who shall be entitled to the exclusive use, occupancy and possession thereof, and may abate any private or public nuisance committed by any person or persons in the area of his riparian ownership and may, for such purposes, resort to any remedial action authorized by law. The governing authorities of any municipality and the board of supervisors of any county are authorized to adopt reasonable rules and regulations to protect riparian owners in the enjoyment of their riparian rights, and for such purposes may regulate the use of beaches, landings, and riparian areas abutting or fronting on roads, streets or highways.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.