I know sea oats are very valuable for their anti-erosion qualities; their large root system is able to keep dunes together during extreme weather, but do they have any other use? Did the native Americans use them in any way? Are they medicinal?
Well, says Pygmy burrowing owls in Fl need them to hide in, and destruction of them is considered a costly fine because the soil erosion factors during hurricanes is invaluable. For those reasons alone no one would tell you if they have a food value anyway, chuckl
I understand that Sea Oat seeds are edible (typically roasted and ground) but that due to their extensive roots, which stabilize coastal sand dunes, the plants are protected under states' laws.
In Florida the Statute begins:
161.242 Harvesting of sea oats and sea grapes prohibited; possession prima facie evidence of violation.—
(1) The purpose of this section is to protect the beaches and shores of the state from erosion by preserving natural vegetative cover to bind the sand.
(2) It is unlawful for any purpose to cut, harvest, remove, or eradicate any of the grass commonly known as sea oats or Uniola paniculata and Coccolobis uvifera commonly known as sea grapes from any public land or from any private land without consent of the owner of such land or person having lawful possession thereof. (continues)
I wasn't able to find a reference in Texas law with a quick search, but I didn't look very hard.