Near the shore, a few salt-tolerant species form salt marshes, which are among the most productive maritime plant communities. Grasses, sedges and wildflowers such as silverweed and lupine thrive here. The band of beach grass along the shore is often inundated by higher tides.
At and above extreme high water, a lush, diverse beach meadow is often present. Such areas can be dominated by grasses, wildflowers and large umbellifers such as cow parsnip. Beach meadows are a distinctive feature of the Glacier Bay region, where post-glacial isostatic rebound is causing the land to rise up out of the sea. As the land emerges, beach meadow vegetation creeps forward to claim it. These biotically important meadows are often backed by a narrow band of alder and then the forest.