Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1910, pp. 210-11
COAST : The edge or margin of a country bounding on the sea. It is held that the term includes small islands and reefs naturally connected with the adjacent land, and rising above the surface of the water, although their composition may not be sufficiently firm and stable to admit of their being inhabited or fortified ; but not shoals which are perpetually covered by the water. U.S. v. Pope, 28 Fed. Cas. 630 ; Hamilton v. Menifee, 11 Tex. 751.
This word is particularly appropriate to the edge of the sea, while “shore” may be used of the margins of inland waters.
Corpus Juris (New York : 1917), Vol. XI, pp. 935-6.
COAST. 1—As a noun, the shore ;2 the seaboard of a country ;3 the sea-shore ;4 the margin of a country bounded by the sea ;5 the contact of the mainland with the main sea, where no bay intervenes, and with the latter
1 See also Bank 6 C.J., p. 1,178 ; Beach 7 C.J., p. 1,016 ; Bed 7 C.J., p. 1,022 ; Sea Beah (35 Cyc 1,164) ; Seaboard (35 Cyc. 432) ; Strand (36 Cyc. 1,332).
Atlantic Coast see Atlantic Ocean, 5 C.J., p. 1,437, note 65 (a).
2 U.S. v. The James Morrison, 26 F., Cas. No. 15,465, Newb. Adm. 241, 253 ; U.S. v. William Pope, 28 F., Cas. No. 16,703, Newb. Adm. 256, 259.
3 Ravesies v. U.S. 35, Fed. 917, 919.
4 Ravesies v. U.S. 35 Fed. 917, 919.
5 Bouvier L. D. (quot. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205).But compare Pacific El., etc., Co. v. Portland, 65 Or. 349, 382, 133 P 72, 46 LRANS 363 (holding that the words “sea shore” and “coast” in an act were broad enough to include tide and overflowed lands along a river emptying into the ocean) ; Bennett v. Morta, Holt N. P 359, 3 ECL 146 (where an act regulating pilotage on vessels on the coast of England was held to extend to the River Thames).
wherever it exists.1 The term “coast,” or “sea-coast,” appears to have no fixed meaning apart from the context, and to be equally applicable to the space between high and low water mark, or to the territory bordering on the sea, or to that part of the sea which adjoins the land.2 The coast includes the natural appendages of the territory which rise out of the water, although they are not of sufficient firmness to be inhabited or fortified.3
1 Hamilton v. Menifee, 11 Tex. 718, 751 (where, in referring to this definition by counsel, the court said : “This we believe to be substantially correct. The term coast undoubtedly suggests to the mind the place of meeting between the main-land and the water of the sea, where no bay intervenes ; but it does not so readily suggest also the shores of the bays. It is rather by a process of reasoning than suggestion, that it is made to comprehend the shores of the ocean, and of the bays, as one unbroken line. But whether the laws on the subject should have been construed to include, or other-wise, the shores of the bays, as a part of the coast, can scarcely be regarded as now an open question ”).
(a)“Shoals” distinguished.—(1) “Shoals perpetually covered with water are not . . . comprehended under the name of coast.” Bouvier L. D. (quot. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205, 206) .
(2)The act of congress, extending the jurisdiction of the federal courts to “a marine league from the coasts or shores of the United States,” has been construed to embrace the land bordering on, and washed by, the sea extending to low-water mark, and not shoals. Soult v. L'Africaine, 22 F. Cas. No. 13,179, Bee 204, 207, 208 (where the court said that the term “from the coasts” differed from the expressions “off the coasts,” and “on the coasts.”)
2 Gould Waters (quot. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205, 206).
3 Bouvier L. D. (quot. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205, 206).
(a)as including “islands.”—(1) As the letters patent creating the municipality of North Vancouver stated that the boundary should run from a point on the coast southerly along the coast line to point Atkinson, it was held that the island known as Itala Island or Eagle Island, was included within the boundaries of the municipality. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205. (2) “The small islands situate at the mouth of the Mississippi, composed of earth and trees drifted down by the river, which are not of consistency enough to support the purposes of life, and are uninhabited, though resorted to for shooting birds, form a part of the coast.” Bouvier L.D. (quot. Mowat v. North Vancouver, 9 B.C. 205, 206).
Cyc. of Law Procedure N.Y., 1903, Vol. 7, p. 266.
COAST.—As a noun, the shore ; the seaboard of a country ; the sea-shore ; the edge or margin of a country bounding on the sea ; the contact of the mainland with the main-sea, where no bay intervenes, and with the latter, wherever it exists. . . .