Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu in Hawaii was ranked number one by the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University’s 2004 Top Ten Beaches list.  Dr. Stephen Leatherman, known as Dr. Beach and one of the country’s foremost experts in the scientific study of beaches and coastal processes, chose Hanauma Bay for its natural beauty and quality beach management practices.

“Hanauma Bay is a phenomenal place,” says Leatherman.  “It is the only beach in the country where you can swim with a multitude of colorful tropical fish in clear, emerald green, waist-deep water with a fine, white sandy bottom.  You can enjoy the pleasures of a beautiful beach backed by palm trees. All the facilities are discreetly tucked away in volcanic cliffs hundreds of feet high.  It’s one of the few beaches in the country formed in a volcanic cone, making for incredible scenery.”

“Credit for the quality experience at Hanauma Bay goes to the City and County of Honolulu and Friends of Hanauma Bay,” noted Les Enderton, executive director of Oahu Visitors Bureau.  “There has been a tremendous commitment to preserve the beauty of the natural environment for future generations by preventing overcrowding through careful monitoring, enforcing a ban on smoking, eliminating fish feeding in order to restore the natural balance and creating the Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center to educate visitors.”

Beaches are rated with 50 criteria that include water temperature, water and sand quality, beach management, litter control and available facilities.  Leatherman noted that Hanauma Bay is a leader in innovative beach management. 

Hanauma Bay, along with seven other beaches on Oahu, is a member of the 2004 Certified National Healthy Beaches (CNHB).  In order to qualify, beaches are evaluated on 60 environmental and service-base criteria and must file monthly monitoring reports.  The other beaches that are CNHB members are Ehukai, Kailua, Turtle Bay, Waikiki, Waimanalo, Waimea Bay and Koolina Lagoons. 

For more information on the island of Oahu please visit www.visit-oahu.com

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