Challenge to Tidal Wetland Policy

Representing an owner of waterfront property accused of constructing illegally in a tidal wetland, the firm will appear before the Court of Appeals concerning an unusual challenge to the tidal wetland regulatory framework. We have argued that the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation is unable to determine the location of the tidal wetland boundary line as required by law and therefore cannot prosecute its client. The absence of specificity arises from the fact that the only evidence of the location of the boundary is hand drawn lines on the decades old aerial photographs. Because the photographs are taken from heights as much as 1,000 feet and that much of the waterline is tree covered, DEC’s determination of the location of the tidal wetland boundary line is argued to be legally insufficient.