The Public Trust Doctrine is a legal principle derived from English Common Law. Under this doctrine, the waters of the state are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for:
- Purposes of navigation
- Conducting commerce
- Recreation and similar uses
The Public Trust Doctrine trust is not invalidated by private ownership of the underlying land. The doctrine limits public and private use of tidelands and other shoreline areas to protect the public's right to use the waters of the state.