Eco-Friendly Beaches in the US

There’s nothing better during the summertime than a day-long outing at the beach. Unfortunately, some beaches in the country have received a nasty reputation for hosting harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites deposited by sewage and stormwater. That’s why we’ve rounded-up some of the many gorgeous, pristine escapes in the United States that offer an eco-friendly sanctuary to wildlife and travelers alike.

Ocean City at Beach 6 in Worcester County, Maryland

With up to 345,000 vacationers during summer weekends, and up to 8 million visitors annually, Ocean City beachgoers should be happy to know they’re dipping their toes in some of the cleanest coastal waters in America. According to the latest water quality report by the National Resources Defense Council, Ocean City’s beach six and Delaware’s Dewey Beach were two of only 12 beaches in the nation to receive a five-star rating.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii
This popular coastal community has been enforcing strict rules for beachgoers in the former volcanic crater site since 1990, and it is the first Marine Life Conservation District in Hawaii. Visitor numbers are restricted and laws are enforced about preserving the fragile ecosystem is mandatory before entry. Now the living reef environment is one of the top spots in the country for snorkeling.

Goosewing Beach Preserve, Little Compton, R.I.
This unspoiled crescent of beach is a scenic Rhode Island spot where beach, dune and coastal pond collides. Goosewing Beach is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island and other groups, an effort to protect endangered shorebirds.

Gulf Shores Public Beach in Baldwin County, Alabama

Located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the thirty-two miles of white sandy beaches that make up Gulf Shores Public Beach are perfect for family-oriented summer visitors. This pristine beach along Alabama’s shoreline, which received a five-star rating by the NRDC, are nearly unspoiled and cleanup workers can be seen each morning combing the sands to keep it that way.

Wallis Sands Beach in Rockingham County, New Hampshire

Wallis Sands State Park offers oceanfront swimming, views and recreational activities on the Isles of Shoals. The sandy beach, which is especially popular with families, will likely continue to stay popular considering it ranks as one of the cleanest beaches in the country.

Alana Cowan