Two main grasses form the partition between the Gulf of Mexico and the shore. Both are so good at holding soil that they are often planted for erosion control. Both are somewhat tolerant of oil, as long as roots and rhizomes aren't smothered.
SOURCES: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, Loyola University New Orleans, University of Florida | BONNIE BERKOWITZ AND PATTERSON CLARK/THE WASHINGTON POST