State Affairs and Government

Sovereignty and Jurisdiction of State

SECTION 42-1-1

§ 42-1-1. Extension of boundaries into sea.

(a) The general assembly finds that the people of the state of Rhode Island have a fundamental interest in the establishment of the full jurisdiction of this state over that area which congress has determined to be subject to this state's jurisdiction in the Submerged Lands Act of 1953, 43 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq., and to extend jurisdiction as fully as is permitted under the Geneva Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone of 1958 and applicable precedents of the United States Supreme Court.

(b) The boundary between this state and the state of New York is established by agreement between the two states and ratified by the congress in chapter 362 of Public Law 399, approved July 1, 1944.

(c) The territorial waters of this state and the submerged lands thereunder enuring to this state extend seaward three (3) geographical miles (5,556 meters) from the shoreline at the mean low water mark or from any base line farther out permitted by law, without prejudice to existing state jurisdiction up to the mean high water mark.

(d) The waters of Narragansett Bay are bounded on the south by a base line or closing line extending from the mean low water mark at the southernmost point at Point Judith to the mean low water mark at the southernmost point on the southernmost island in the West Island group, south of Sakonnet Point. This closing line is equivalent to the shoreline.

(e) Whenever the United States or a court of competent jurisdiction shall extend the breadth of the territorial seas of this state to any greater distance, the above territorial boundaries shall be deemed to extend to such distance.

(f) The boundary of counties bordering on the sea extends to the uttermost limit of the state.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 344, § 2.)