Article XV of the Washington State Constitution defines the state’s control over the harbor areas and the tidelands extending one mile on either side of or within an incorporated city. The constitutional delegates in 1889 addressed tidelands located outside of this area in Article XVII. While substantial parts of the proposed new state had previously been sold or granted to settlers and railroad interests by the federal government, the territorial government still possessed full title over the harbor areas and tidelands. These areas had significant value to...
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