One of the most important decisions the US Supreme Court ever decided on regarding the environment was the establishment of the Public Trust Doctrine. This ensured that tidal lands and navigable waterways such as rivers, bays and estuaries could not be privately owned. Additionally, no one person owned the resources found in these areas and all were entitled to them. This has been cited as precedent in many cases in order to prevent development, over-extraction of resources and private ownership of these lands.
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