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What state has the cleanest beaches?

U.S. States Boasting the Cleanest Beaches

When it comes to pristine shorelines in the United States, several states are vying for the top spot with their immaculate beaches. Based on the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water quality standards, states like Hawaii, Virginia, and California often emerge as frontrunners.

Hawaii’s Natural Splendor

Hawaii, known for its natural beauty and rigorous environmental regulations, consistently ranks high for clean beaches. The state’s efforts in preserving its coastal ecosystems contribute to the clarity of its waters and the purity of its sands. Beaches like Hanauma Bay and Lanikai Beach are not only tourist favorites but also exemplars of cleanliness and natural preservation.

Virginia’s Vigilant Beach Monitoring

Virginia boasts some of the cleanest beaches on the East Coast, thanks to its vigilant beach monitoring programs. The Virginia Beach Monitoring Program ensures that beaches like Sandbridge and Cape Charles maintain high water quality standards, making them safe and inviting for swimmers and wildlife alike.

California’s Coastal Commitment

California, despite facing challenges with pollution, has made significant strides in cleaning up its beaches. The state’s strict regulations and cleanup initiatives have improved the conditions of popular spots like Laguna Beach and Coronado Beach, which are now celebrated for their cleanliness.


Q: How is beach cleanliness measured?
A: Beach cleanliness is often measured by water quality, which includes testing for contaminants like bacteria and chemicals, as well as by assessing the amount of litter and debris on the sand.

Q: What can visitors do to help keep beaches clean?
A: Visitors can help by disposing of trash properly, using eco-friendly sunscreens, and participating in beach clean-up events.


National Resources Defense Council (NRDC): An international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists, focused on ensuring the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): An independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters.
Beach Monitoring Program: A program typically run by state or local governments to monitor the quality of the beach water and ensure public health safety.