Owning waterfront property can be wonderful – but you need to understand exactly what you own. Riparian rights refer to the rights of waterfront property owners to the water and the land surrounding it. Riparian rights depend on a number of factors, including state law and whether the water is considered navigable. Riparian rights pass with the land and are part of the property owned by the waterfront property owner. While the exact rights of waterfront property owners are different in different parts of the country, the premise is similar. The waterfront property owner traditionally owns land and has access to the water – and other people share the ability to use the water. In some states, property owners own the land down to the low water (or tide) mark. In other states, property owners own the land under the water as well for purposes of building docks, setting down anchors and fishing, for example. Riparian rights are an important part of your property rights as a waterfront property owner- therefore it is important to understand the particular laws in your state before purchasing waterfront property. Before you sign papers to form a joint venture, be sure to do your homework on your soon-to-be business partners. Check their credentials and their credit! Develop a business plan that meets your needs – then you can move to the next step and decide how to legally form your joint venture.