The complete top 10 for 2014 is as follows:
1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
2. Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida
3. St. George Island State Park
4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
6. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina
7. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
8. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida
St. George Island's Julian G. Bruce State Park has again been voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S. for the fourth year.
Dr. Stephen Leatherman (Dr. Beach) announced the annual ranking of beaches last week. The 2014 ranking maintains the SGI beach in its #3 position that it reached in 2013. This is the fourth year that the nine-mile beach park located at the east end of St. George Island has made Dr. Beach's list.
The continued Top 10 ranking is good news for Josh Hodson, St. George Island State Park manager. "This is a testament to our great beaches and also to the staff and volunteers here." According to Hodson, park attendance has increased by approximately 10 percent each year since the island park has made Dr. Beach's list.
The list takes into consideration such factors as beach width at low tide, beach material (from cobbles to fine sand), beach conditions (from erosional to depositional), sand softness, water and air temperatures, number of sunny days, amount of rain, wind speeds, size of breaking waves, number of waves (width of breaker zone), beach slope underwater(from steeply sloping bottom to gently sloping bottom), longshore current, rip currents, color of sand, from gray to white/pink, tidal range, beach shape, bathing area bottom conditions, turbidity, water color, floating or suspended human material, algae in water amount, red tide, smell, wildlife, pests, presence of sewarage/runoff, outfall lines on/across the beach, seaweed/jellyfish on the beach, trash and litter, oil and tar balls, glass and rubble, views and vistas, buildings/Urbanism, access, misfits, vegetation, well-kept grounds, amenities, lifeguards, safety record, domestic animals, noise, presence of seawalls, riprap, concrete, intensity of beach use, off-road vehicles, floatables in water (garbage, toilet paper), public safety (eg, pickpockets, crime), and competition for free use of beach (eg, fishermen, boaters, water-skiers).
Leatherman is professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. in environmental (coastal) sciences from the University of Virginia, and completed his undergraduate degree in geosciences at North Carolina State University.
He has authored or edited 16 books, including Sea Level Rise: Causes and Consequences; Barrier Island Handbook; Overwash Processes; Cape Cod: From Glaciers to Beaches; and America's Best Beaches. He has also authored over 200 journal articles and technical reports, including articles in both Science and Nature.
Leatherman has provided expert testimony multiple times for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. He was also the on-screen host and co-producer of the 1992 film "Vanishing Lands,” winner of three international film awards, including the Golden Eagle.