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Aloha State boasts 3 beaches on list of top American strands

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:18 p.m. HST, May 24, 2013

Photo Gallery Countdown: 2013 Top 10 U.S. beaches

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. >> Three Hawaii beaches are on an annual list of the best beaches in the country, but a New York beach is ranked No. 1.

Main Beach in East Hampton, a vacation playground for the rich and famous, is tops in coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman’s 23rd version of his Top 10 Beach List, released Thursday.

Hawaii beaches on the list are Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki (No. 2), Hamoa Beach on Maui (No. 4) and Waimanalo Bay State Park (No. 5).

“The thing about the Hamptons is that people are so proud of their beaches out there,” Leatherman said in an interview in advance of the release of his list. “People pick up their litter there, the bathrooms are clean; they provide good services.”

Leatherman, who goes by the nickname Dr. Beach, visited Main Beach earlier this month. He said unlike many beaches farther to the west and in New Jersey, the beaches on eastern Long Island saw less erosion and flooding from superstorm Sandy’s effects.

“Considering the magnitude of the storm, people will be very pleased to see that Main Beach is the way they remember it,” he said.

Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University in Miami, has visited beaches around the world and uses criteria like water and sand quality, as well as safety and environmental management, to compile his annual list. Once a beach reaches the pinnacle of No. 1, it is retired from future consideration, he said.

Coronado Beach in Southern California earned the top spot in 2012.

Other beaches on Leatherman’s 2013 list are St. George Island State Park, Fla.; Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, N.C.; Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.

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