May 28, 2010

Dr. Beach says Cape Hatteras is No. 4 for 2010

By IRENE NOLAN




The beach at Cape Hatteras has moved up a notch on Dr. Beach’s Top Ten list of America’s best beaches for 2010.

This year the lifeguarded beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse ranks No. 4 on the list – up from No. 7 last year and No. 8 in 2007.

Coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, has chosen America’s Top 10 beaches since 1991.  His rankings are based on 50 criteria, including water and sand quality, as well as facilities and environmental management. More than 650 beaches in the country are included in his judging.

This is what he said about Cape Hatteras:

“Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore.  Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages.  Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing.”

The specific Cape Hatteras beach he has named has been the Park Service’s Buxton lifeguarded beach.

In 2007, the No. 1 beach was the Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach. 

Leatherman said when he visited Ocracoke that one of his criteria is visitor safety, and the Buxton Beach, like the beach he chose on Ocracoke, has National Park Service lifeguards for most of the summer.

The Buxton Beach is located in the shadow of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the largely undeveloped Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Being undeveloped and natural is another thing that Leatherman likes.

Being named to Dr. Beach’s list is always a cause for celebration for the beaches he chooses, since a lot of publicity comes with the announcement of his new list. 

This year’s No. 1 beach is Coopers Beach on the east end of Long Island, New York.

Here is why Leatherman said Coopers Beach received the honor:

“It is the main beach in the tony Village of Southampton. The Hamptons are world famous; this is one of America’s Gold Coasts along with Palm Beach and Malibu where the rich and famous reside and frequent during the season. Southampton is also steeped in history; it was the first English settlement, dating back to 1640. Historic mansions grace the beautiful, grass-covered sand dunes; the turrets of Calvin Klein’s mansion are among the views visible from Coopers Beach.
 
Coopers Beach is officially only 500 feet long, but this stretch of sandy shore extends for seven miles for the delight of beachcombers and strollers. A mile or so trek to the east is the one-of-a-kind St. Andrews Dune Church with its interesting architecture and tiffany windows; the original wooden frame was once a U.S. Lifesaving Station. While the U.S. Northeast coast was pummeled by storms this past winter, Coopers Beach stood up well with no damage. A wide beach awaits your visit.”

Once a beach is named No. 1, as Ocracoke was, it is “retired” from competition. 

There’s still hope for the Cape Hatteras beach at Buxton Beach to get to the No. 1 spot.  Ocracoke was on the Top Ten list for several years before it was crowned the best beach in America.

For more information, go to www.DrBeach.org.


Dr. Beach’s 2010 Best Beaches in America for 2010


1.    Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York (NATIONAL WINNER)
      
2.    Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
      
3.    Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
      
4.    Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
      
5.    Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
      
6.    Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
      
7.    Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
      
8.    Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina
      
9.    Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
     
10.    Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida




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