Small town residents have mixed feelings on No. 1 beach rank - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Small town residents have mixed feelings on No. 1 beach rank

WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

WAIMANALO, Hawaii (AP) - Many small-town residents would get a kick out of their communities being recognized like Waimanalo recently was when one of its beaches was ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

But in Waimanalo, pride is mixed with apprehension.

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was named the best beach last month on an annual top 10 list compiled by a Florida professor known as Dr. Beach.

Some residents worry too many visitors may have a negative impact on the small community whose population is 65 percent Native Hawaiian. The number of visitors has already picked up.

Stephen Leatherman, the coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach, says he's received emails from residents who are upset that Waimanalo made the top spot.

Other residents say the ranking could be good for local businesses.

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