Beach Rating: A Methodological Approach

Stephen P. Leatherman


A beach rating scheme was devised and implemented between 1989-1991 to rank the major public recreation beaches along the U.S. open marine coasts based on 50 criteria. For the past five years America's best beaches have been determined and reported to the media. The top ten beaches are always found in Hawaii and Florida because the survey was in general developed for swimming beaches, but other categories (e.g., scenic, walking, wild, sports) of beaches have also been arrayed, which results in top rankings for beaches from Maine to Washington. Beaches are always changing because of storm impact, beach nourishment, pollution problems, etc. so the rankings vary year to year.


Seashore; shoreline; coast; beach sand; coastal waters

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