public trust doctrine
public trust doctrine n: a doctrine asserting that the state holds land lying beneath navigable waters as trustee of a public trust for the benefit of its citizens

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

public trust doctrine
The principle that certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, and that the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public's use. For example, under this doctrine, the government holds title to all submerged land under navigable waters. Thus, any use or sale of such land must be in the public interest.
Category: Real Estate & Rental Property

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

public trust doctrine
n.
   the principle that the government holds title to submerged land under navigable waters in trust for the benefit of the public. Thus, any use or sale of the land under water must be in the public interest. Nevertheless, there has been a great deal of use for offshore oil drilling, for landfill, and marine shoreline development, in which protection of the public interest has been dubious at best.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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