who the heck is dr. beach?
It’s Memorial Day weekend and the burning question every shore line community asks is, “How will Dr. Beach rate our beach?” (This year, Cape Hatteras rated six in the top ten!) As Matt Walker of Milepost Magazine discovers in this full length interview, Dr. Beach is not the sum total of mystic algorithms, rather he is a real person with an academic’s eye for information and fact.
“Just who is Stephen P. Leatherman? And why should any of us care? Well, you probably know him better as “Dr. Beach.” Every Memorial Day weekend he issues a top-10 list of “America’s Best Beaches,” inspiring huge headlines for coastal newspapers across the country and endless slideshows for click-hungry travel websites. (Not to mention drawing biting cries of malpractice by destinations that don’t make the cut.)
What you may not realize is Leatherman isn’t some quack paid to write press release fodder for tourist boards — he’s a respected scientist and professor at Miami’s Florida International University who’s spent 20 years developing and revising a format of 50 criteria from access to water quality. And what you most surely didn’t know is he began his illustrious career right here on the Outer Banks, doing research for his alma mater, North Carolina State University.”