KP Law is the Commonwealth’s most experienced public sector law firm, with a broad environmental, land use and real estate law practice.  Our Waterways interdisciplinary group spans all of these practice areas and includes Chapter 91 licenses, Great Ponds, harbor regulation, and related real estate law issues, such as, for example, accretion and erosion.  In a time when environmental issues are a component of many municipal transactions, and where licenses, moorings, and harbor and beach uses are of the utmost importance to municipalities, neighbors, private users, and businesses, it is essential to have a team of highly skilled municipal attorneys attuned to these issues.

Our services include:

  • Chapter 91 Licenses: Advising as to the extent of coastal tidelands, waterways and great ponds owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or subject to a public trust, and assisting municipalities to obtain licenses from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to fill or erect docks, piers or other structures within tidelands, waterways and great ponds under General Laws Chapter 91. We also counsel municipalities with respect to the rights held by a municipality or private parties under existing Chapter 91 licenses.
  • Great Ponds: Advising as to Chapter 91 licensing and municipal regulation of watercraft upon Great Ponds under G.L. c.131, §45, as well as municipal licensing of moorings and small projects pursuant to DEP regulations at 310 CMR Section 9.07, including licensing and regulation upon ponds designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern with Resource Management Plan approval by DEP.
  • Harbor Regulation: Advising on regulation of harbors and moorings by harbormasters under G.L. c.102, §21 and by bylaw or ordinance adopted under G.L. c. 90B, §15.  We also counsel clients with respect to developing Municipal Harbor Plans under General Laws Chapter 91, and have significant experience with harbor dredging project permitting and funding, as well as with removal of derelict and abandoned vessels from harbors, involving DEP Environmental Police, harbormasters, U.S. Coast Guard, salvage operators and funding sources.
  • Accretion and Erosion: Advising as to the area of municipal lands and private lands when size of lot is of concern in applying zoning or other land use laws or in connection with taxation.  Issues may include the legal effect of accretion, that is, the extension of land by deposit of soil, or erosion, that is, the reduction of land by loss of soil.  We also advise on permitting of coastal erosion mitigation structures.