Beach Expert Explains Why Cape Cod Spot Made Top 10 List

June 4, 2022 | By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

EASTHAM – Coast Guard Beach has been featured on a popular top ten best U.S. beaches list and the expert who compiled the list gave insight on why he picked the spot as one of the country’s best.  

Florida International University professor Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, spoke with the NewsCenter in a recent Sunday Journal interview about why the Eastham beach has remained on the top ten list the last few years.

“You have both the sea cliffs and the barrier beaches, the harbor there, the salt marshes, it’s just a beautiful spot. Not many places like that actually. It’s outstanding in that regard,” Leatherman said.

Coast Guard Beach was ranked 10th on this year’s list. The beach did have points deducted since its sand is not as white as other locations and its water is not as warm.

Although Dr. Leatherman uses over 50 factors to make his picks each year, he said the main three factors are clean sand, clean water, and beach safety.  

Leatherman spoke about how the amount of litter affects a beach’s sand score. Since cigarette butts are the biggest form of litter on beaches, Leatherman gives extra credit to beaches that don’t allow smoking.

Pollution is the main factor when Leatherman marks for water quality. Leatherman also explained that rip currents are the biggest beach safety concern.

Although sharks aren’t factored in when determining which beaches make the list, Leatherman said he sometimes worry about populations of seals moving towards recreational beaches on the Cape.