STATE OF FLORIDA
TAJLLAHAS S EE
TO: Trustees of the Internal DATE: September 5, 1968
FROM: J. Kenneth Ballinger RE: Report and Recommendations
Assistant Attorney General of Mean High Water Committee,
September 17, 1968
Separation of the public and private ownership of sovereignty
lands by the establishment and recognition of the line of mean.
high water has been studied by the above-named committee since
its appointment by the Trustees and first meeting June 11, 1964.
Boundaries determined by the course of the tides involve two
engineering aspects: a vertical one, predicated on the height
reached by the tides during its vertical rise and fall, and
constituting a tidal plane or datum; and a horizontal one, related
to the line where the tidal plane intersects the shore to form
'the tidal boundary.
On the basis of the interim findings of a special cooperative
study along the shores of Lee County by the state and the U. S.
Coast and Geodetic Survey, and of subsequent conferences by the
committee, the committee respectfully recommends:
1. The establishment of tidal bench marks along the
perimeter of the nine South Florida counties first,
and the remainder of the state following, to
supplement those already in place, and immediate
preparation of instructions to all registered land
surveyors and engineers for the interpolating
between elevations of existing tide stations in.
like waters, this work to be undertaken in
cooperation with the U. S. Coast and Geodetic
Survey. Commitment of $250,000 in state funds for
2. Publication of a permanent uniform set of standards
for the use of professional land surveyors and
engineers in determining methods of establishing
Trustees of the Internal
September 5, 1968
mean high water, to be adopted and promulgated by
the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund.
Authority of -the Trustees to pay for printing and
distribution of approved standards.
3. Authorization by the Trustees for the committee
to meet with the director of the data processing
management board to determine possible use of
state-owned computer equipment in processing data
in county-by-county determination of the mean high
4. Authorization for the staff of the Trustees to
procure aerial photographs covering the seaward
perimeter of the nine critical counties for photo-
grammetric interpretation of mean high water data.
Estimated 2,000 miles at $10 per mile, or $20,000.
This photography would serve as an interim medium
of information for ground truth verification until
a complete demarcation of the MHW line data could
be established by or in cooperation with the U. S.
Coast and Geodetic Survey. The time and cost for
such a project is not available at this time.
5. That existing state laws be studied and amendments
proposed to make it possible for the Trustees to
accept lines of mean high water as established by
criteria detailed above, and to suggest a legal
definition of mean high water. Preparation by the