The dynamic nature of the interface of waterways (ocean, rivers, bays, lakes, etc.) with adjoining lands makes the determination of the common boundaries between public trust lands and private property a complex issue. In addition, because many early land descriptions and surveys were vague or faulty, great confusion can arise as to property rights along waterways. With recent population increases and development pressures, the need to locate boundaries between private and public lands has accelerated. The resolution of these land title problems is important not only to protect the public's resources, but also to enable private parties to obtain title insurance and loans for development from lending institutions.
To meet these problems, the Commission has developed programs to establish boundaries between public and private lands. Research has concentrated on assembling data from historic maps and surveys, libraries and archives, interviews with historians and long-time residents of the affected areas, and recent on-site surveys.
The result of such studies for a particular parcel of land may be a "boundary line agreement" or a negotiated "title settlement" in which the State's interest in the parcel is exchanged for other land or monies for future land acquisitions.