About the Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea - World Wide Unique

The Wadden Sea is located in the South Eastern part of the North Sea. It stretches from Den Helder in the south western part along the barrier islands of the Dutch coast, the German Bight and the Danish coast to Blåvandshuk in the north eastern part.

The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world, with natural processes undisturbed throughout most of the area. It encompasses a multitude of transitional zones between the land, sea and freshwater environment, and is rich in species specially adapted to the demanding environmental conditions. It is considered one of the most important areas for migratory birds in the world, and is connected to a network of other key sites for migratory birds. Its importance is not only in the context of the East Atlantic Flyway but also in the critical role it plays in the conservation of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds. In the Wadden Sea up to 6.1 million birds can be present at the same time, and an average of 10 to12 million birds pass through it each year.

Satellite Photo of the Wadden Sea areaUNESCO World Heritage Site

The Wadden Sea has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding geomorphological and ecological values. Information on the Wadden Sea World Heritage nomination can be downloaded here.

Wadden Sea Landscape - young and unique
The Wadden region is relatively young. It only formed during the post-glacial period, around 7000 years ago. Even now, sandbanks and dunes are still forming and eroding in a rapid tempo. The dynamics of the area are unique. You can still find landscapes in all phases of development. Even today with your own eyes, you can see and experience how landscapes were created in the glacial period.

Visit the Wadden Sea World Heritage Website!

Wadden Sea Diversity - natural forces and dynamics prevail
The Wadden Sea has its own exceptional manner of showing how nature, plants and animals continually adapt to the daily changing circumstances on the flats. Where fresh river water mixes with salty seawater and processes such as tides, wind and deposition of sand and mud still occur, you can find plants and animals that have ingeniously adapted. Thanks to its many faces, the Wadden Sea offers a tremendous variety of plants and animals a place to grow, live, breed, nurse, grow up, moult or rest.

Wadden Sea Wildlife - unique in its variety
The wealth of life in the Wadden Sea is phenomenal. Not only do you find lots of permanent residents, there are also lots of visitors. Every year, at least 10 to 12 million migrating birds make use of the Wadden region. Around 10,000 different plants and animals can be found living on land or in water. Such an enormous variety as found in the Wadden Sea exists nowhere else in the world.