Accessing the Alabama Coast is a self-help resource for Alabama's citizens.

This website contains information to help waterfront users, coastal communities, and land owners address issues related to coastal access. The intent of this website is to offer law and policy tools that address the specific needs of coastal waterfront users.

About the Project

In 2009, the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium received a grant from the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law to adapt the “Accessing the Maine Coast” website for use in Alabama. As part of this project, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program researched law and policy tools for coastal access in Alabama that would enable coastal property owners, public interest entities, and recreational users to locally address their coastal access issues. Those findings were then developed into the concepts presented on this website. Contact us for questions related to the project’s objectives.

Accessing the Coast of Alabama: Issue Background

Escalating coastal and island real estate values are putting coastal property beyond the reach of working families who depend on the water for a living. Access points disappear as changing land use eclipses traditional uses of the coast. 

Communities, waterfront users, and landowners are all affected by the decline in coastal access to Alabama’s coast. Beach visitors lose their favorite spots, waterfront landowners fear liability, crowding, and inappropriate use if they let the public use their land. The list of challenges is long and this website has been designed to provide Alabama communities with information and tools to help them address local coastal access issues, possibly reducing the need for litigation.


This site is designed to help users understand how the law might apply to their needs. This site does NOT provide legal advice, which is the application of law to someone's specific circumstances. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

In 2007, the National Sea Grant Law Center funded a grant proposal submitted by Maine Sea Grant and its partners Maine Coastal Program, The Center for Law and Innovation of University of Maine School of Law, and Island Institute to create an online coastal access resource for private waterfront landowners, government and public entities, and waterfront users. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center have adapted the “Accessing the Maine Coast” to provide content relevant to audiences in Alabama. Maine Sea Grant owns the copyright to the original site; the adaptations made here are owned by the Auburn University. Neither Maine Sea Grant nor its collaborators are responsible for the content of this derivative site, including the accuracy of any of the legal information contained in this derivative site.

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