The long, slender thread of white is a barrier island. If our barrier islands were still intact, they would act as booms to protect the marshes. While the oil spill would destroy the habitats of the barrier islands, it would be easier to clean those islands than to clean the coastal marshes. Governor Jindal's sand berms are in effect, man-made barrier islands. While the berms may temporarily effect the local ecosystems, I have to think that it would be a less detrimental effect than the majority of the oil reaching the marshes.
These berms, after they were cleaned, could be used as barrier islands for hurricane protection. During the last 70 years, these islands have erroded and many have disappeared. The marshy areas along our coastline have also erroded, we loose the equivalent of a football field each day. Our first line of hurricane protection is the barrier islands and marshes. The tidal surge that accompanies a hurricane is blunted by the barrier islands and marshes and a hurricane passing over these "land" masses begins to weaken before reaching the large inland cities, like New Orleans.
Look a the change in the amount of land mass between New Orleans and the Gulf in the last 200 years . . .