SECTION 1. Section 35 of Chapter 91 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting, after the last sentence of the first, the following-
Where sea level rise, storms, or other natural processes have caused the landward or lateral movement of a barrier beach into an area which was previously occupied by the bottom of any Great Pond, the portion of the barrier beach relocated into the former bottom of the Great Pond shall be and remain in public ownership. It being the intent of the foregoing sentence that the application thereof to any property not be in violation of either Article 10 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the foregoing sentence shall not convert ownership of any private property to public ownership, and, to the extent that applying the foregoing sentence to any private property would have such an effect, the foregoing sentence shall not apply to such private property. As used herein, “barrier beach” shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in Section 10.29 of Title 310 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations or successor regulations. Upon petition of ten citizens of the Commonwealth that a dispute exists with respect to the location of the former bed of any Great Pond or other facts relevant to this section, the department and the attorney general or a representative designated by the attorney general shall hold a public hearing and receive such evidence thereon as may be presented to them and otherwise proceed in a manner consistent with the procedures set forth in Section 18A of this Chapter.
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