Madeline Martin Speaks “Park”
Hi, I’m Madeline Martin and I’m the interpreter at Sea Rim State Park! My job involves a lot less translating foreign languages than the title implies. It’s more that I speak “park.” I help people understand our natural resources here at Sea Rim and connect to the area in their own meaningful ways. If anyone has questions about animals or finds a weird plant they want to know more about, I’m your girl! I run all our programs here at the park as well as talk at outreach and education events around the area.
There’s Plenty to do Here!
With 5 miles of beach, there’s ample opportunity for swimming, beach combing and building sandcastles. Anybody looking to catch some fish can do so from the shore of the beach or out in the marsh side of the park. A fishing license is not required on state park property, which makes Sea Rim a great place to come if you have any visitors from out of state. Don’t have a fishing rod? No problem! Fishing rods are just one of the things in our loaning program. Just drop by headquarters and you could check out a fishing rod, crab net, or binoculars for the day. For the kids, we have Junior Ranger backpacks full of guides to the different plants animals they might see here as well as an activity book, sketchpad, binoculars and a magnifying glass!
First Stop for Birds
Sea Rim is the first stop for many birds as they come across the Gulf of Mexico. The birds get some rest and food here before continuing the journey north. In my opinion, the best place to see birds in the park is East Beach. I like to head down there on my lunch break and watch the sanderlings and terns look for food. East Beach has a bit richer habitat than West, and it’s usually less crowded, which is fantastic for birdwatching.
Interested in birding but don’t have binoculars? Check out the Park’s binocular lending program here.
You’ve Got to Try the Paddle Trails
If you want to really experience everything the park has to offer, then you can’t miss out on the paddling trails. Sea Rim has 4,000 acres of marsh and the only way to see it is in a boat. We have single kayaks, tandem kayaks, youth kayaks, and canoes available to rent at park headquarters, first come, first served. Enjoy 12 miles of paddling trails as you see travel through paths lined with reeds while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Paddlers may even spot the largest reptile in North America, the American alligator! Not to worry, though, these prehistoric predators would much rather run from humans than get close. That being said, those teeth aren’t for show and people should stay at least 30 feet from any alligator, whether they’re on land or out on the paddling trails.
Fishing Loaner Program
Specifically on the fishing loaner program, yeah, we get a lot of people from out of state coming to fish here. It’s also a good way for people who maybe want to try fishing for the first time without committing to the license fee or for whom the price of a fishing license is prohibitive to be able to enjoy the pastime and maybe put some food on the table if they’re lucky. It also allows them to catch crabs without a license, which is pretty popular around here during the warmer months.
Her Favorite Part?
Martin say it’s the best when a monthly crabbing or fishing class first-time participant learns he or she really enjoys this activity.
“Sometimes we’ll see people we recognize from classes that have come back and brought more of their family with them to spend some quality time together outdoors and catch some fish/crabs,” Martin says.
More about Maddie
When Martin, a Brookshire native, isn’t giving tours or speaking “park” at a display booth, she’s horseback riding, knitting, crocheting and hanging out with her cats, Cassie and Kipper. She’s a member of Sabine-Neches Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists. She arrived at Sea Rim in February of 2021 and has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management from Stephen F. Austin University.