On that list, Newport comes in at No. 5.
Christopher Evans, executive director of the group, said the overall
picture of American beaches given by the report is not particularly
He said there is room for improvement in terms of the level of
information the public is able to obtain about beach conditions, and in
terms of the quality of those conditions.
"What [the report] points to is that the public is systematically being
eliminated from participating in coastal zone management," he said.
Many California beaches came out looking better than those of other
states in the Surfrider report. The study concluded that California has
high standards of beach accessibility and availability of information
about water quality, Evans said.
Newport's high ranking on the list is good economic news, said Rosalind
Williams, president and CEO of the Newport Beach Conference and Visitors
"The travel industry of America just put out a survey saying that one of
the greatest draws for family travel is the beach," Williams said.
Given this information, Surfrider's study "should bode well in our
favor," she said.
Surfers who brave Newport waters on a regular basis and have had to
contend with a beach closure for several days this week greeted
Surfrider's findings guardedly.
"The waves are good [in Newport Beach] when they're good, but there are a
lot of pollutants," noted Bobby Tang, manager of The Frog House, a surf
shop on West Coast Highway.
o7 Top 10 urban beaches in the U.S.:
1. South Beach, Miami Beach, Fla.
2. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
3. Panama City Beach, Fla.
4. East Beach, Santa Barbara
5. Newport Beach
6. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
7. South Padre Island, Tex.
8. Cape May, N.J.
9. Main Beach, Santa Cruz
10. Seaside Beach, Ore.
* Source: The Surfrider Foundation's "State of the Beach" report.