Click on a picture for a larger view.
Dennis Doucette, pictured at the left, who stays in Isla Blanca Park during some of the winter months has an usual
hobby, collecting Sea Beans. In the January 23-25, 2012, edition of the Port Isabel Press newspaper he was the subject of a front page article
because of his passion for collecting these tropical pods which float up on Texas beaches.
Dennis has also contributed a collection of sea beans to
the UTPA Marine Studies Lab in the park. You can see them by visiting the lab when their display is open to the public weekday afternoons.
This is a picture of a small part of Dennis Doucette's collection of sea beans. Dennis has been collecting beans for about nine
years, and has found many while staying here on South Padre Island. He says that our beach is one of the premier sea bean collecting areas
in the world. Collecting these beans, which can be quite beautiful after they are cleaned and prepared, has given Dennis and others he has
helped start on this hobby many hours of enjoyment.
Among Sea Bean collectors, there are a group of six sea beans which constitute the "Super Grand Slam". Collectors strive to get good
samples of each of these six beans. Dennis donated a "Grand Slam" to the UTPA Marine Studies Lab, although he has continued to add
specimens to the Lab's collection. Here are pictures of these from Dennis' collection:
There is a web site which is devoted to Sea Beans, and anyone interested in them should certainly take a look at
it, as well as visiting the Marine Lab to see them first hand. It is at http://www.seabean.com/. You can just
to go to it for a look. You can also find books on the subject.
The one that Dennis likes is Sea Beans from the Tropics
by Ed Perry and John V. Dennis. This can be found in some