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Many lament potential loss of access to parts of Maine beach

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KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — As she walked her yellow lab along a frigid Goose Rocks Beach Thursday, Pam Reynolds surveyed the broad, curved stretch of sand and sadly shook her head.

Sections of her neighborhood beach, a summer treasure for generations and a jewel of Maine’s southern coast, were declared private property this week in what could prove to be a far-reaching court decision. The prospect of losing access to parts of the lovely shore and having its 2-mile stretch interrupted was devastating.

“It’s heart-wrenching,” she said, looking over the snowy strand anxiously. “The idea of sealing things off, I’m just appalled.”

The decision, handed down Tuesday by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, sided with 29 beachfront property owners who asserted exclusive rights over the beach “down to the mean low-water mark,” even though the beach has been used by the public for decades.

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