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Duties relative to common

SECTION 3. wealth lands. charge of the

1853, 223.
Res. 1859, 103.
G. S. 5, § 15.
G. S. 15, § 24.
1875, 239, §§ 1,
2, 4, 8.

P. S. 19, § 3.
1886, 144.

1897, 392.

Powers and
duties relative
to province
1893, 470, § 1.

Said board shall, except as otherwise provided, have 1 lands, rights in lands, flats, shores and rights in tide 2 waters belonging to the commonwealth, and shall, as far as prac- 3 ticable, ascertain the location, extent and description of such lands; 4 investigate the title of the commonwealth thereto; ascertain what 5 parts thereof have been granted by the commonwealth; the condi- 6 tions, if any, on which such grants were made, and whether said 7 conditions have been complied with; what portions have been 8 encroached or trespassed on, and the rights and remedies of the 9 commonwealth relative thereto; prevent further encroachments and 10 trespasses; ascertain what portions of such lands may be leased, 11 sold or improved with benefit to the commonwealth and without 12 injury to navigation or to the rights of riparian owners; and may 13 lease the same for periods not exceeding five years. It may make 14 contracts for the improvement, filling, sale, use or other disposition 15 of the lands at and near South Boston known as the Commonwealth 16 Flats, may lease any portion thereof with or without improvements 17 thereon, for such periods and upon such terms as it shall deem 18 best, may regulate the taking of material from the harbor and fix 19 the lines thereon for filling said lands, and shall cause a general 20 plan of said lands to be prepared, whereon it shall designate the 21 portions which in its opinion should be devoted to railway and 22 commercial purposes and those which should be devoted to general 23 purposes. All conveyances, contracts and leases made under the 24 provisions of this section shall be subject to the approval of the gov- 25 ernor and council.


SECTION 4. Said board shall have general supervision of so much 1 of the province lands at Provincetown as lies north and west of a 2 line beginning at a point at or near the shore of Provincetown 3 harbor, in latitude north forty-two degrees, two minutes, and longi- 4 tude west seventy degrees, eleven minutes, forty-five seconds; 5 thence northwesterly to a point in latitude north forty-two degrees, 6 three minutes, eight seconds, and longitude west seventy degrees, 7 twelve minutes, forty-eight seconds; thence northeasterly to a point 8 in latitude north forty-two degrees, three minutes, twenty-eight 9 seconds, and longitude west seventy degrees, eleven minutes, thirty- 10 three seconds; thence due north to a point in latitude north forty- 11 two degrees, three minutes, forty-eight seconds; thence due east to 12 a point in the eastern boundary of the province lands. 13

Portion of province lands exempt from certain

SECTION 5. Section three, chapter two hundred and sixty-one 1 of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-four, chapter one 2 visions of law. hundred and forty-four of the acts of the year eighteen hundred 3

1893, 470, § 4.

and eighty-six, so much of section one of chapter eleven of the 4
province laws of the year seventeen hundred and twenty-seven as is 5
contained in the following words "saving always the right and title 6
of this province to the said lands which is to be in no wise prej- 7
udiced," and all other acts or parts of acts which refer to the prov- 8
ince lands at Provincetown, except the act incorporating said town, 9
shall not hereafter apply to that portion of said province lands lying 10
east and south of the line fixed in the preceding section.


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of province

1 SECTION 6. It shall fix and mark the bounds of the province Bounds, etc., 2 lands within its jurisdiction, shall establish regulations for the care lands. 3 thereof, shall annually appoint a superintendent thereof and, with 183, 470, § 2. 4 the approval of the governor and council, shall fix his salary and the

5 amount which may be expended by him in the protection and im6 provement of said lands.

of restrictions the common

1 SECTION 7. If the commonwealth has the right under stipu- Enforcement 2 lations in a deed given in its name to enter upon premises and, at in deeds from 3 the expense of the party at fault, to remove or alter a building, any wealth. 4 of its grantees under similar deeds, their heirs, legal representatives P. S. 19, $5. 5 or assigns may institute proceedings in equity to compel said board 100 Mass. 512. 6 to enforce such stipulations.

1866, 264, 1-3.


duties relative


P. S. 19, § 6.

1 SECTION 8. Said board shall have general care and supervision Powers and 2 of the harbors and tide waters within the commonwealth, of the flats to harbors, 3 and lands flowed thereby, of the waters and banks of the Connec- 1866, 149, § 2. 4 ticut river within the commonwealth and of all structures therein, 1885, 344, § 1. 5 in order to prevent and remove unauthorized encroachments and 6 causes of every kind which may injure said river or interfere 7 with the navigation of such harbors, injure their channels or cause 8 a reduction of their tide waters, and to protect and develop the 9 rights and property of the commonwealth in such flats and lands; 10 and it may make surveys, examinations and observations necessary 11 therefor.


gravel, etc.,

1884, 269, § 2.

SECTION 9. If it appears to said board that the digging or re- Removal of 2 moval of stones, gravel, sand or other material, upon or from any from beaches. 3 beach, shore, bluff, headland, island or bar, in or bordering on tide 1892, 206. 4 waters, or the destruction of any trees, shrubs, grass or other 5 vegetation growing thereon, is, or is likely to prove, injurious to 6 any harbor or other navigable tide waters, it may, by notice in 7 writing, prohibit such digging or removal, or the doing of any acts 8 injurious to such trees or other vegetation, upon or from any such 9 beach or other place aforesaid specified in such notice. Whoever, 10 after receiving such notice, wilfully does any act or thing prohibited 11 therein, and which is authorized to be so prohibited by the provi12 sions of this section, or, being the owner or having the control of 13 any land specified in such notice, wilfully suffers or permits such 14 act or thing to be done thereon, shall be punished by a fine of not 15 less than twenty nor more than two hundred dollars for each offence.




SECTION 10. It may make contracts for the filling, improvement Contracts for 2 and use of the flats taken under the authority of chapter four hun- flats in Boston 3 dred and eighty-six of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and 1897, 486, § 5. 4 ninety-seven, may excavate and dredge in the harbor of Boston 173 Mass. 495. 5 wherever the public convenience and necessity requires, shall have 6 the management of all the wharves, docks and foreshore owned by

7 the commonwealth in said harbor and not otherwise provided for, 8 and may lease parcels thereof, improved or unimproved, for periods 9 not exceeding fifteen years. Such contracts and leases shall be sub10 ject to the approval of the governor and council.

Connecticut river to be surveyed etc. 1885, 344, §§ 5, 6.

Establishment of harbor lines. 1866, 149, § 3.

P. S. 19, § 7.


Structures in
great ponds
1888, 318, § 2.
Op. A. G. Nov.
27, 1900.

SECTION 11. It shall, as funds are appropriated therefor, cause 1 that portion of the Connecticut river lying within this common- 2 wealth to be surveyed and plotted; and a copy of such survey 3 within the limits of the counties of Hampden, Hampshire and 4 Franklin, respectively, to be prepared, attested by them and 5 deposited in the registry of deeds for the county to which it 6 relates as a public record, and it, or attested copies thereof, shall 7 be competent evidence of the facts therein contained.


SECTION 12. It may, after hearing the parties interested, pre- 1 scribe lines in any harbor of the commonwealth and make report 2 thereof to the general court, not later than the next session, for its 3 action thereon. If such lines are established by the general court 4 as the harbor lines of said harbor, no wharf, pier or other structure 5 shall thereafter be extended into said harbor beyond such lines. 6 Notice of the hearing shall be published three weeks successively 7 in a newspaper published in Boston and in one or more published 8 in the county or counties in which such harbor lies, the first publica- 9 tion to be at least thirty days before the hearing.


SECTION 13. Except as authorized by the general court and 1 as hereinafter provided, no structure shall be built or extended, or 2 piles driven or land filled, or other obstruction or encroachment 3 made, in, over or upon the waters of any great pond below the 4 natural high water mark; nor shall any erection or excavation be 5 made at any outlet thereof whereby the water may be raised or 6 lowered.


Board to have supervision of

SECTION 14. Persons who are authorized by the general court to 1 erections, etc., build over tide waters a bridge, wharf, pier or dam, to fill flats or 2

in waters,
ponds, etc.,
under legisla-
tive grants.
1866, 149, § 4.
P. S. 19, § 8.
1885, 344, § 2.
1888, 318, § 3.
118 Mass. 345.

drive piles below high water mark, or to build any structures in 3
the Connecticut river, or to build or extend any structure or to do 4
any other work in, over or upon the waters of any great pond men- 5
tioned in the preceding section, shall not commence such work 6
until they have given written notice thereof to said board and sub- 7
mitted plans of any proposed structure, of the flats to be filled, and 8
of the mode in which the work is to be performed, and the same has 9
been approved in writing by said board, which may alter such plans 10
and prescribe any direction, limits and mode of doing the work 11
consistent with the legislative grant. Such works shall be super-12
vised by said board.


License of erections, etc.,

SECTION 15. Said board may license and prescribe the terms 1 in tide waters. for the construction or extension of a wharf, pier, dam, sea wall, 2

1872, 236, §§ 1, 2. 1874, 347, § 1.

road, bridge or other structure, or for the filling of land or flats, 3

P. S. 19, 9.

Top G412, or the driving of piles in tide water below high water mark, but not, 4

except as to a structure authorized by law, beyond any established 5 harbor line, nor, unless with the approval of the governor and coun- 6 cil, beyond the line of riparian ownership. A license shall not be 7 granted for the construction of a bridge across a river, cove or in- 8 let, except in a location above a bridge, dam or similar structure 9 authorized by law over such tide water, in which no draw actually 10 exists or is required by law, and not then, if objection is made by 11 the mayor and aldermen of the city or the selectmen of the town 12 in which the bridge is to be built. 13


etc., cut river and

1885, 344, § 3. 1898, 498.

SECTION 16. Said board may license any person to construct and License of 2 maintain booms in or across the Connecticut river, for periods of in Connecti3 not more than five years, in such locations and upon such terms as great ponds. 4 the board may prescribe, or to build and extend a wharf, pier or 1888, 318, § 4. 5 shore wall below high water mark in said river, or to build or 6 extend a wharf, pier, dam, wall, road, bridge or other structure, or 7 to drive piles, fill land or excavate in or over the waters of any 8 great pond below natural high water mark, or at or upon any 9 outlet thereof, upon such terms as the board may prescribe; but 10 such license which is beyond the line of riparian ownership, or 11 which affects the level of the waters in such pond, shall not be 12 valid unless approved by the governor and council.

of; how

347, 1. P. S. 19, 10.

1 SECTION 17. Every license under the provisions of this chapter Licenses, form 2 shall be signed by a majority of the board, shall state the terms granted, etc. 3 upon which it is granted and shall specify by metes, bounds and 1872, 236, § 3. 4 otherwise the location, dimensions and limits and the mode of per- 15, 344, § 3. 5 forming the work authorized thereby. Before a license is granted, 1888, 318, § 5. 6 the board shall give notice to the mayor and aldermen of the city, 7 or the selectmen of the town, within which the work is to be per8 formed that they may be heard. The recital in a license that a 9 notice required by law has been given, or that the mayor and 10 aldermen or selectmen have not objected, shall be conclusive evi11 dence of such facts. The board shall keep a record of each license 12 and a plan of the work or structure.


1 SECTION 18. Such license shall be void unless, within one year Licenses to be 2 after the date thereof, it and the accompanying plan are recorded 1872, 236, § 4. 3 in the registry of deeds for the county or district within which the 1874, 347,82. 4 work is to be performed.

P. S. 19, 11.

1885, 344, § 3.

1888, 318, § 5.

1 SECTION 19. Every authority or license granted since the year 2 eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, or hereafter granted by the com3 monwealth to any person or corporation to build a structure in the 4 Connecticut river, or in or over the waters of any great pond, or 5 upon ground over which the tide ebbs and flows, or to fill up or 6 enclose the same, whether such ground is above or below low water 7 mark, or within or beyond one hundred rods from high water mark, 8 or whether it is private property or the property of the common9 wealth, shall be subject to the following conditions, whether they 10 are expressed in the act, resolve or license granting the same or not: 11 such authority or license shall be revocable at the discretion of the 12 general court, and shall expire in five years from its date, except 13 as to valuable structures, fillings or enclosures actually and in good 14 faith built or made under the authority or license during the term 15 thereof; but if compensation has been paid to the commonwealth 16 under the provisions of section twenty-two or under any similar 17 provision of law, the rights and privileges for which it has been paid 18 shall not so terminate or be revoked unless provision is made for re19 payment of such compensation.

1 SECTION 20. No license or other authority to build structures 2 upon or to fill up or enclose any such ground shall be construed to 3 interfere with or impair the right of any person affected thereby to

cable and to


to be revo expire in five years, except 1869, 432, § 1. 1874, 284, § 1. 1885, 344, § 3.

acted on.

P. S. 19, § 12.

1888, 318, § 5.

op. A. G. Mar.

29, 1899.

-how to be


1869, 432, §§ 1, 2. 1885, 344, § 4.

P. S. 19, § 13.

1888, 318, § 5.

equal proportional privileges of approaching low water mark or one 4 hundred rods from high water mark, or harbor lines established by 5 law, or to impair the right to obtain a license or authority so to ap- 6 proach of persons having interests in lands or flats which may be 7 affected thereby, or to impair the legal rights of any person. All 8 things done under such license or authority shall be subject to the 9 approval of said board. If the general court establishes a harbor 10 line within the outer line covered by such license or authority, 11 the same shall be limited by and not extend beyond such harbor 12 line. The provisions of this section, so far as may be, shall apply 13 to licenses granted under the provisions of the preceding section to 14 erect structures on great ponds.


for tide water
1866, 149, § 4.
1872, 234.
1878, §§ 2.

P. S. 19, 9$ 14,
Op. A. G. July


21, 1900.

SECTION 21. The amount of tide water which is displaced by 1 any structure below high water mark, or by any filling of flats, shall 2 be ascertained by the board, which shall require the persons who 3 cause such displacement to make compensation therefor by excavat- 4 ing, under its direction, between high and low water mark in some 5 part of the same harbor a basin for a quantity of water equal to that 6 displaced; or by paying in lieu of such excavation an amount as- 7 sessed by said board, not exceeding thirty-seven and one-half cents 8 per cubic yard of water displaced; or by improving the harbor in 9 any other manner satisfactory to the board; and the money shall be 10 paid into the treasury of the commonwealth, and be reserved as 11 a compensation fund for such harbor. The income thereof may be 12 used under the direction of the board for the improvement of the 13 harbor. An assessment for tide water which has been displaced 14 may be recovered in an action of contract in the name of the treas- 15 urer and receiver general.


Additional compensation when title to land is in the commonwealth.

SECTION 22. If authority or a license is granted by the general 1 court or by said board to a person to build a wharf or other 2 structure upon, or to fill or otherwise occupy, land in tide water, 3

1874, 284, §§ 1, 2. or to build or extend any structure or drive piles, fill land or 4

P. S. 19, § 16. 1888, 318, § 5.



make any obstruction, encroachment or excavation in, over or upon 5 the waters of any great pond, he shall, before the work is begun, 6 pay to the commonwealth such compensation for the rights granted 7 land the title to which is in the commonwealth as shall be 8 determined by the governor and council. The provisions of this 9 section shall not apply to authority granted to a county, city or 10 town for the construction, widening, or maintenance of a bridge 11 which constitutes a part of a highway.


Unauthorized erections, etc.,

SECTION 23. Every erection made and all work done within 1

in tide waters tide water, or within the waters of a great pond or outlet thereof, 2

to be nui


1866, 149, § 5. P. S. 19, § 17. 1888, 318, § 6. 1891, 266, § 1. 108 Mass. 436. 118 Mass. 350.

or on or within the banks of the Connecticut river below high water 3 mark, which is not authorized by the general court or by said board, 4 or is made or done in a manner not sanctioned by said board, if a 5 license is required as hereinbefore provided, shall be considered a 6

149 Mass. 58. public nuisance. The attorney general or the district attorneys 7

within their respective districts shall, at the request of said board, 8 institute proceedings to enjoin or abate such nuisance, or to restrain 9 the removal of material from any bar or breakwater of any harbor. 10

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