Isla Blanca Park Scrapbook

Sea Beans

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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:

Starmut Bean

Hamburger Bean

Sea Purse

Sea Heart

Mary Bean

Nicker Nut
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 You can just click here 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 public libraries.

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