Sunset Beach

Area beach-goers planning to hit the waves this Fourth of July weekend can rest easy in one respect. Three Cape Fear-area beaches have fetched high marks on this year’s report card from the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC—an environmental watchdog group that grades beaches based on water quality. Out of 3500 coastal and Great Lakes beaches, only 35 were deemed “superstars”—and this elite grouping counts sections of Wrightsville Beach, Sunset Beach, and Topsail Beach.