Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Shore and Sea Boundaries

Shore and Sea Boundaries summarizes the technical and legal aspects of determining maritime boundaries in the U.S., particularly with respect to the use of data acquired by the Office of Coast Survey and its predecessors. Volumes One and Two, written by Aaron L. Shalowitz, published in 1962 and 1964, respectively, are considered to be two of the most important references available to the coastal and maritime community.

Volume One addresses boundary aspects of the Submerged Lands Cases, the subsequent Submerged Lands Acts of 1953, and the maritime boundary developments of the U.N. Conferences on Law of the Sea.

Volume Two concerns the use and interpretation of Coast and Geodetic Survey data, particularly the early surveys and charts, with special emphasis on those features and aspects that have legal significance.

Volume Three, written by Michael W. Reed, published in 2000, documents Supreme Court decisions and the resulting legal principles that have occurred since the publication of the earlier volumes.

All three volumes are out of print, but PDFs of each volume are available. Download complete copies of each volume using the buttons at the top of this page, or individual chapters using the links below.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Revised: 11/21/2017