One of the types of grass used to stabilize the sand dunes of Golden Gate Park is called European beach grass or marram grass--also known as Ammophila arenaria. This grass was used at Cape Cod to hold sands in place and then in Golden Gate Park in 1869. Ammophila arenaria has a system of stems underground or rhizomes that allow it to survive very dry and windy landscapes. The genus name of this grass means "sand lover."
Ammophila arenaria is considered an invasive plant and pushes out native plants. In addition, it takes up or occupies available breeding ground for the Western Snowy Plover. In places like Pt. Reyes, the federal government is performing controlled burns (followed by the application of herbicide) to control the plant.
In some ways, the story of grasses in Northern California is really the story of humankind's attempt to manipulate the environment. I cannot think of another member of the plant family that is as connected to successful and failed efforts to control the landscape.