The harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water and submerged lands underlying the same in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters, owned by the United States on March 2, 1917, and not reserved by the United States for public purposes, are placed under the control of the government of Puerto Rico, to be administered in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as the property enumerated in sections 747 and 748 of this title. All laws of the United States for the protection and improvement of the navigable waters of the United States and the preservation of the interests of navigation and commerce, except so far as the same may be locally inapplicable, shall apply to said island and waters and to its adjacent islands and waters. Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed so as to affect or impair in any manner the terms or conditions of any authorizations, permits, or other powers lawfully granted or exercised or in respect of said waters and submerged lands in and surrounding said island and its adjacent islands by the Secretary of the Army or other authorized officer or agent of the United States prior to March 2, 1917. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, as used in this section (1) “submerged lands underlying navigable bodies of water” include lands permanently or periodically covered by tidal waters up to but not above the line of mean high tide, all lands underlying the navigable bodies of water in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands, and all artificially made, filled in, or reclaimed lands which formerly were lands beneath navigable bodies of water; (2) “navigable bodies of water and submerged lands underlying the same in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters” extend from the coastline of the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands as heretofore or hereafter modified by accretion, erosion, or reliction, seaward to a distance of three marine leagues; (3) “control” includes all right, title, and interest in and to and jurisdiction and authority over the submerged lands underlying the harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters, and the natural resources underlying such submerged lands and waters, and includes proprietary rights of ownership, and the rights of management, administration, leasing, use, and development of such natural resources and submerged lands beneath such waters.
[Mar. 2, 1917, ch. 145, § 8], [39 Stat. 954]; [May 17, 1932, ch. 190], [47 Stat. 158]; [July 26, 1947, ch. 343], title II, § 205(a), [61 Stat. 501]; [Pub. L. 96–205, title VI, § 606(a)], Mar. 12, 1980, [94 Stat. 91].)