Top Beaches: Coopers Beach in New York is Rated Number One

The annual list of top beaches was released today and Coopers Beach on Long Island, New York was rated the number one beach in the United States.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Best Beaches list which is compiled by Stephen Leatherman (also known as Dr. Beach), the Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research in Miami. Leatherman uses 50 criteria in rating the beaches, including water temperature and quality, sand softness, number of waves, smells and the presence of jellyfish and safety.

Coopers Beach was not the only New York beach to make the list. Also making the list, coming in at number five, was another New York Beach – Main Beach in East Hampton, New York.

“The Hamptons are world-class beaches and are probably better known to Europeans than most Americans,” Leatherman told LiveScience. “This is the first time that a NY beach has been the national winner.”

“It’s one of those special places,” Leatherman said, praising Coopers’ clean sand, refreshing water and “great salty air.”

The beaches on the Florida panhandle had to be removed from his list this year because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is creeping closer to shorelines.

Here are the Top Ten Beaches in the United States for 2010:

1. Coopers Beach (Southampton, N.Y.)
2. Siesta Beach (Sarasota, Fla.)
3. Coronado Beach (San Diego, Calif.)
4. Cape Hatteras (Outer Banks, N.C.)
5. Main Beach (East Hampton, N.Y.)
6. Kahanamoku Beach (Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii)
7. Coast Guard Beach (Cape Cod, Mass.)
8. Beachwalker Park (Kiawah Island, S.C.)
9. Hamoa Beach (Maui, Hawaii)
10. Cape Florida State Park (Key Biscayne, Fla.)

Both Coopers and Main beaches did make the top 10 list last year. Coopers beach came in at third and Main beach came in sixth last year.

Once a beach makes it to the number one spot, it is retired from consideration in future years, Leatherman said. He also added that being named the number one beach in the country on his annual list usually brings as much as a 20 percent bump in tourism.

“Both Main and Coopers beaches have been recognized in the past as being among the top 10 beaches in the country — and to now hold the top spot is especially significant when you consider the quality of the company we’re in,” Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a statement.

“I will be traveling to Southampton on Sunday and will certainly be at Coopers Beach on Memorial Day with some friends,” Leatherman said. “I will be incognito.”

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