This information is intended to serve only as an initial reference for research of water bottom information and does not purport to provide evidence of legal title to property. This information does not substitute for the need to conduct complete title analyses and should be viewed merely as a reference that does not represent a final agency determination or a judicial determination of ownership, unless otherwise noted. The information and data on this site are dynamic and will change over time. We strive, in good faith, to provide current, reliable and accurate information; however, we fully recognize the possibility of human and/or mechanical error occurring. We, the Office of State Lands, Division of Administration, State of Louisiana, its employees, officers and agencies, deny any warranty (expressed or implied) of accuracy, completeness, reliability or timeliness of any information published via this site and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by usage and reliance upon the accuracy, completeness, reliability or timeliness of such information. Any person or entity that relies upon such information obtained from this site does so at his or her own risk.
By proceeding further, the user acknowledges that he/she has read the foregoing statement and understands that any actions taken by the user based on the information provided in this website are undertaken at user’s own risk.
ABOUT THE DATA - STATE WATER BOTTOMS
The Office of State Lands uses a set of criteria, based on a review of historical maps and documents on file in the State Land Office, to uniformly select water bottoms throughout the state for inclusion in the water bottoms database. Once a waterway has been selected by this process, the extent of the water bottom is then digitized from USGS Digital Orthophotos (DOQQ). It is important to keep in mind that the extent of the water bottoms shown on this web site is only a representation of the extent of water as shown on the DOQQ and not the legal extent of the state’s claim.
The extent of the water bottoms shown on this web site may be of sufficient accuracy to determine an approximate acreage for the waterway but not of sufficient accuracy to determine a property boundary. The Office of State Lands does not have the extensive information required to determine a location of the legal boundary for each waterway claimed by our office.
Users should be aware that a statewide inventory of state claimed water bottoms has not been completed at this time. Information regarding waterways which are claimed by the state and the adjoining land owner may have been received in the Office of State Lands but may not be currently posted on this web site. Information will be updated and added to this web site on a monthly basis until the statewide inventory is complete. After the statewide inventory has been completed, the data shown hereon is subject to revisions as additional information is received by the State Land Office. Users should check this web site from time to time for revisions.
DATA CATEGORIES-WATER BOTTOMS
State claimed. After a review of historical maps and documents on file in the Office of State Lands, it was determined that these waterways were susceptible of commercial navigation at the time of statehood, in 1812. Therefore, the state claims the bed and water bottom of these waterways from a historically navigable point of view. Examples of this kind of waterway are the Mississippi River, Bayou Teche. Lake Pontchartrain, etc.
Publicly accessible. Governmental agencies sometimes acquire servitudes for the construction of channels and river cutoffs which may include rights of public navigation. The State does not claim the beds and water bottoms of all of these waterways. Some of the channels have eroded over time; however, the public's right to navigate may be limited to the original servitude boundaries. By delineating the limits of the eroded channels and cutoffs, the State does not necessarily suggest that public right of navigation extends to the eroded limits of the waterway. Examples of this type of waterway are the Intracoastal Waterway, man made cuts to eliminate sharp bends in a river or stream in order to improve navigation or drainage, etc.
Claimed by the state and adjoining land owner. After a review of historical maps and documents on file in the State Land Office, it was determined that these waterways were susceptible of commercial navigation at the time of statehood, in 1812. However, the adjoining land owner has provided the Office of State Lands with information whereby they believe the waterbottoms are included in the legal title to their property. Anyone accessing these areas should do so at their own risk.
Judgment, agreement or compromise against state ownership. These are water bottoms or geographic areas in which the Office of State Lands has a court decision or another type of agreement on file that would prevent the state from claiming a particular waterway or any water bottoms within the geographic limits of the judgment or compromise area.
DOWNLOADABLE GIS DATA
The digital file obtained using the following link is a zipped ESRI Shapefile projected to UTM Zone 15 North NAD83. This data is subject to additions and revisions as information is received by the Office of State Lands and will be updated monthly. Users should check this web page from time to time for updated versions of the data.