America’s Best Beaches for ’20
Monmouth Beach not on the list, but should be …
They call him “Dr. Beach.” He is Stephen Leatherman, PhD, the country’s top coastal expert and the director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. And for 30 years he’s been setting the standards for “America’s Best Beaches.”
Each year, Dr. Leatherman evaluates more than 650 public beach facilities in the United States. He uses 50 criteria to judge the worth of a beach — including sand softness and color, tidal range, safety, cleanliness, views, water temperature, smell, wildlife, access, wave size, and intensity of use.
For the 2020 season America’s Top Beaches are:
1) Grayton Beach State Park, Florida panhandle
2) Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
3) Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
4) Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
5) Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
6) Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
7) Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
8) Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9) Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
10) Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii, which was #1 the past two years, didn’t even make the top 10 this year. And it’s nice to see that two beaches on North Carolina’s Outer Banks made the list for 2020. My dad spent most of his retirement years on the “OBX.” I visited many times and always loved the place.
For many, the beaches along Monmouth Beach are among the best in the area. They are a source of constant enjoyment and relaxation for borough and surrounding residents. I’m glad the borough’s beach doesn’t make any list, though, I’d much prefer it was a secret. Although some disagreed.
Speaking about our state’s beaches, Dr. Leatherman has said: “Many people assume that New Jersey’s sand came from Long Island. This is incorrect as no sand grains can cross the deep valley of the drowned Hudson River (outer New York Harbor); indeed, divers report a massive buildup of sand and debris in this submarine canyon.
“Likewise, no sand from the southern end of New Jersey (Cape May) can travel across the wide mouth of Delaware Bay to reach Lewes, Delaware because of the deep water. Coastal geologists call the outer shoreline of New Jersey, which extends for over 120 miles, a coastal compartment, meaning that no sand can come to or from another beach to these shores.”
Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety. Since he started the list in 1991, the #1 position has always been a Florida or Hawaii beach. For more information, visit his website.