Wadden Sea, a World Heritage Site
The north of the Waddenland region is bordered by the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in June 2009. This sees the area acknowledged as equivalent to other world famous nature reserves such as Yellowstone in the United States, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The Wadden Sea is unique
The Wadden Sea is a recognised biologic ecosystem, which can only be found on the Dutch - German - Danish North Sea coast. Wadden Sea tides rotate every six hours, ensuring the landscape is in a permanent state of flux.An extensive system of channels alternates with 'dry' sandbanks. This variation in landscapes makes the Wadden Sea a unique habitat for more than 10,000 often very rare plants and animals, providing an abundance of nutrition.
The Groninger Wadden Sea coast extends over 34 kilometres, from the Lauwersmeer to Eemshaven. The extended tidal area and salt marshes and stretches of mudflats beyond the dikes is a renowned foraging place for millions of marsh and water fowl during their migration. It also provides a clear and impressive demonstration of how flora and fauna constantly adapt to transient landscapes, where salt and fresh water mix.
What is a World Heritage Site?
A World Heritage Site can be a monument, area or landscape, of outstanding natural and/or cultural historical value, unique in the world. UNESCO describes World Heritage Sites as having 'a particular, universal value, which is irreplaceable and unique and should be considered the common property of the entire world'. World Heritage Site status is a recognition for an area, however it does not bring with it any additional legal protection.