Unique in its kind
A sea which changes completely a couple times per day, at one moment kilometers of extensive tidal flats full with life and at another moment a mass of water with reckless waves. The Wadden Sea is one and all wilderness. As plant or animal, you must be well armed to survive here. Life can be challenging, you must conquer your niche and above all, you must adapt. The Wadden Sea is one of the largest wetlands in the world. It consists of islands, channels, gullies and flats, which are continually changing shape and sometimes even location. The Wadden Sea is unique. It is the only tidal and coastal island system in the world with a temperate climate that is so large and contains such an enormous variety of plants and animals.
Wadden Sea World Heritage Facts
At the end of June 2009, the Wadden Sea was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This World Heritage Site is 400 kilometers long and has a surface area of 9,683 km². 7,133 km² is located in Germany and 2,550 km² in the Netherlands. The regions contains 280 km² salt marshes, 4,120 km² emerged tidal flats, 2,325 km² permanently flooded flats and channels and 240 km² islands and sandbanks. Another 2,720 km² of the North Sea coastal zone also belongs to the region. At the moment, 66% of the total wadden region falls under World Heritage. The islands and sandbanks together form a kind of barrier between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea.
The German World Heritage Site covers the National Park Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer, the National Park Hamburgisches Wattenmeer and the National Park Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer. Part of these regions lie in the North Sea coastal zone. The Ems-Dollard region makes up the border between the Netherlands and Germany. Parts of this river delta also belong to the Wadden Sea World Heritage.
The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage belongs to the provinces of North-Holland, Friesland and Groningen. It encompasses the protected areas of the Dutch Wadden Sea, which have been designated in the Key Planning Decision Wadden Sea, 3rd Policy Document Wadden Sea.