Tidal boundary delimitation

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Experience in North American has shown that the precise delimitation of tidal boundaries is often a prerequisite in resolving coastal land tenure and jurisdictional conflicts. Although tidal boundaries have not yet been a major concern in the Maritime Provinces, the ambiguity and confusion surrounding the definition of these boundaries and the lack of precise survey methods warrant an examination of the delimitation process. Recent court cases in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island demonstrate the need to clarify the legal terminology and survey procedures. Three broad issues are reviewed in this report: legal boundary definitions, current Canadian and American methods of surveying tidal boundaries, and the availability of tidal information to support these surveys. To recommend or implement changes that are appropriate for the Maritimes, these issues cannot be considered in isolation. Some of the relationships between law, science, and surveying are therefore reviewed. The purpose of this report is not to provide definitive answers or solutions but to give direction to future research efforts by identifying some of the issues that should be addressed and by initiating an interdisciplinary approach to tidal boundary delimitation in the Maritimes.