U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 56 mins

NJ halts competition on top 10 beaches after storm

Wayne Parry, Associated Press

In this Aug. 28, 2012 photo, 5-year-old Dane Michael Valenti of Hasbrouck Heights N.J. rides a wave into shore on a surfboard in Belmar, N.J. New Jersey's Top Ten beaches contest is suspending voting this summer on the best beach in the state, focusing instead on cooperation among regional tourism leaders to promote the shore as a whole as it recovers from Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) -- A popular contest to name New Jersey's best beach is taking a timeout this summer.

The top 10 beaches contest will not have voting this year that pits one town against another for bragging rights.

Rather, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium says the program will focus on cooperation among regional tourism leaders as the shore recovers from Superstorm Sandy.

The contest began in 2008 as a way to generate pride in and stewardship of New Jersey's beaches. People voted online for their favorite shore spot, and the results were unveiled at a pre-Memorial Day news conference.

This year's voting will involve a calendar photo contest. People will be encouraged to share their favorite shore memories at www.toptenbeaches.org starting Wednesday.