Florida had two entries and North Carolina, South Carolina, California, New York, Massachusetts each had one on the annual list that ranks major public recreational beaches in the coastal U.S. states.
Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, uses about 50 criteria to assess and rank beaches across the country. U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands aren’t included in the rankings. In recent years, he has given extra points to beaches that prohibit smoking, saying cigarette butts are not only environmentally damaging, but can ruin the experience for beach-goers. Safety and environmental management are other major factors, he said
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