St. George Island Named #3 Beach in Country, #1 in Florida - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

St. George Island Named #3 Beach in Country, #1 in Florida

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St. George Island State Park Courtesy: Florida State Parks St. George Island State Park Courtesy: Florida State Parks

St. George Island Beaches Named to Top Ten List For 3rd Year!

 
St. George Island's Julian G. Bruce State Park has again been voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S., according to the Dr. Stephen Leatherman (Dr. Beach) annual ranking of beaches in the U.S. The St. George Island Beach moved up a notch from #4 in 2012 to the #3 spot for 2013. This is the third year that the nine mile beach park located at the east end of St. George Island, has made Dr. Beach's list.
 
According to Dr. Beach, "The Florida panhandle beaches are known for their powdery, super white sands,"  The sand here is squeaky clean (just rub your feet on the sand and hear it squeak). The State Park beach is on the eastern end of the island. Pathways take you across the 'walking' dunes to the bayside."   

Josh Hodson, St. George Island State Park manager, said the designation has done wonders for the park's visititation. "This ranking has resulted in publicity on a national scale for the state park and our area," he said. 
 
According to Hodson, visitation to the State Park has steadily increased in the past few years since the designations which began in 2011. Last year (2012) our we had 210,000 visitors, up from 185,000 in 2011. It'll be interesting to see what this year brings," he said.

Because the St. George Island State Park is home to some threatened and endangered species, Hodson said visitors to this beach park are asked to be respectful of the wildlife, including the endangered loggerhead sea turtles which arrive annually at this time of year to nest on the beach.
 
"We've already received our first few loggerheads so please do not disturb any marked areas," Hodson cautions.
 
Visitors interested in learning about sea turtle nesting can attend 2 pm turtle orientation meetings on Wednesdays during June at the Apalachicola National Estaurine Research Reserve Visitor Center in Eastpoint. The presentations are hosted by the SGI Volunteer Turtlers and ANERR. Common sense turtle tips include removing all beach chairs and umbrellas at the end of the day and use red filtered flashlights when walking on the beach at night to avoid disorienting hatchlings.
 
 The complete top 10 for 2013 is as follows:
-- No. 1: Main Beach East Hampton, New York
-- No. 2: Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
-- No. 3: St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle
-- No. 4: Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
-- No. 5: Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
-- No. 6: Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida
-- No. 7: Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
-- No. 8: Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina
-- No. 9: Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
-- No. 10: Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina

 
The St. George Island State Park Beach is one of a string of many beaches in Franklin County. Total, Franklin County features more than 250 miles of beach. To learn more about each of the county's beaches and amenities, visit Saltyflorida.com

The above was released Friday by the Franklin County TDC.

 

News Release from Dr. Beach

Miami, FL—Main Beach is the number one beach in the 23rd annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University. 

Main Beach is located in East Hampton on eastern Long Island, New York.  This idyllic beach is frequented by the rich and famous who so highly regard their beach that Leatherman has seen even super models picking up litter washed ashore from the sea.  This beach was heavily eroded by Super Storm Sandy and subsequent winter storms, yet it has largely recovered.  The proud pavilion at Main Beach was little affected because it was set back several hundred feet from the water's edge. A great team of lifeguards stands watch, making this a very safe beach for bathing and swimming.  

East Hampton is a quaint, small village that offers sophisticated luxury. The most enjoyable way to get around town is bicycling, which also avoids paying the pricey parking fee. 

As "Dr. Beach" (www.DrBeach.org), Leatherman has selected the annual Top 10 Beaches since 1991; past National Winners are retired and listed on the web site.  Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and environmental management. Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 16 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety. 

Starting next year, even more emphasis will be placed on environmental management and beach safety. Bonus points will be awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches.  Oahu, Hawaii and New York City are out front with Mayor Michael Bloomberg leading the way in the latter case. 

Top 10 Beaches 2013

  1. Main Beach East Hampton, New York
  2. Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
  3. St. George Island State Park Florida Panhandle
  4. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  5. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
  6. Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida
  7. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
  8. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  9. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Write up on St. George Island State Park from Dr. Beach web site:

The Florida panhandle beaches are known for their powdery, super white sands. The sand here is squeaky clean (just rub your feet on the sand and hear it squeak). The State Park beach is on the eastern end of the island. Pathways take you across the "walking" dunes to the bayside. Stingrays are sometimes resting in the shallow waters so shuffle your feet when entering. Birding and fishing are very popular activities.

The above was released Thursday by Dr. Beach.