Riparian rights are essentially the rights granted to those who live along the banks of rivers. Riparian Rights are natural outcomes that arise as rights as a result of living in a certain location. These are the rights of persons who live on the beach, bank, or in a river, ocean, or lake because they reside there. They are also called "floating rights" because a person's floating residence (boat) becomes its own separate entity for purposes of acquiring property rights. The owner of land that borders on a body of water owns rights against other owners if the water is not owned by one of them. For example, if one person builds a dock on another's property, the owner of the land can claim a right to use the space under the dock.
Riparian rights include: fishing, hunting, gathering shellfish, swimming, boating, and other uses of the water. They do not include flying over or landing on the land for any purpose or drilling for oil or gas.
People often confuse riparian rights with mineral rights. However, they are two different things. A person cannot possess minerals on or under land without also possessing the land itself. Therefore, someone who has only the rights to minerals beneath their land cannot use it for any other purpose than mining. On the other hand, riparian owners can use the land underneath a river or stream for any type of use that does not involve taking minerals out of the ground.
(1) Riparian rights originate as a result of land being next to navigable waters. They include entry and egress rights, boating, swimming, fishing, and any other rights that may or may not be established by law. Such rights are not proprietary in any way. They exist only at the sufferance of the state and cannot be transferred away from the public. However, under certain circumstances, an individual can purchase these rights from the state.
In Florida, there is no statute of limitations on the violation of riparian rights. Therefore, violations that occur today could still be pursued tomorrow if they were violated in the past.
Riparian rights protect people who live near rivers, streams, and other bodies of water from having their property taken without just compensation. The protection extends to the ordinary activities associated with living near the water, such as fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, and even walking along the river bank.
However, the federal government has limited the scope of riparian rights by establishing exclusive federal jurisdiction over lands adjacent to waterways. This means that cases involving riparian rights can only be decided in federal court. Additionally, the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of takings claims filed under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Riparian rights are the legal ownership rights to the land under the water, its usage, or even access to the water itself. Riparian rights are the distribution of water among persons who own land along a river's riparian line. Generally, riparian rights are reserved for properties adjacent to a natural stream. However, through legislative action, some states have broadened the definition of what constitutes a "riparian" property owner to include others having an interest in the stream, such as owners of adjoining property.
The term "riparian" comes from two Latin words meaning "near/adjacent the river." Thus, a riparian owner has a property right near the river to use water from the stream without interference from other landowners.
In most states, someone who owns land close to a body of water has a legally protected interest in that water. This person is known as a "riparian owner." The nature of this interest varies depending on the state law; however, in general, it protects the riparian owner's right to use water from the body for beneficial purposes and to have sufficient water available for these uses.
A riparian owner can sell his or her interest in the water rights associated with the property but cannot sell the land itself. If the owner decides to sell the land, he or she must disclose any such interest and receive written consent from the new owner before closing the transaction.