Wadden Sea Diversity

Natural forces and dynamics prevail

The Wadden Sea displays in an extraordinary way how nature, plants and animals are continually adapting to variable conditions. Some plants and animals build up their own surroundings, thereby forming habitats for other species. In this way, you find a large variety of distinct and continually changing habitats in the Wadden Sea, where many different species can find a suitable niche to live.

Worms and shellfish spend their adult life under the emerging tidal banks. The golden glow on the surface betrays the presence of millions of microscopically small plants, which cover the shallow sea floor. You find sea lettuce attached to the hard underground formed by a sturdy mussel bank, which sticks up high above the sandbank. In the distance, on the warmed up sand, a seal nurses her young. As the tide rises, you see your surroundings change before your eyes. The water slowly takes possession of the area. Sailboats sail by and diving ducks forage for food on the bottom of the flooded basin. Fresh water from the rivers mixes with salt water from the oceans, creating fresh areas in some places that alternate with salt.

Thanks to all these extraordinary characteristics, the Wadden Sea is an unusually rich area. There is sufficient food for all. Animal species, which spend most of their life far away from the borders of the Wadden Sea, use the area as a nursery or tanking station. For a large variety of plants and animals, the Wadden Sea offers a place to grow, live, eat, breed, nurse, rest or moult. There is no place else in the world where all these functions are all found together and converge so naturally.