A beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is once again on Stephen Leatherman’s annual list of top 10 beaches in America.
This year the Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is back on the list again — ranking as fourth. It is the only N.C. beach on the list, which is topped by Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Oahu, Hawaii.
Leatherman, director of the Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, is known as “Dr. Beach” and has chosen America’s top 10 beaches since 1991. His rankings are based on 50 criteria, including water and sand quality, as well as facilities and environmental management. More than 650 beaches in the country are included in his judging.
The Ocracoke Beach was retired for a time after it was named the best beach in 2007. The lifeguarded beach in Buxton made the list for eight consecutive years. Its highest rankings were No. 4 in 2010 and No. 5 in 2011 and 2015.
The top 10 beaches news release notes that starting this year, the list of best beaches is beginning anew so all beaches have a chance again of making the list.