With its prestigious title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea is on par with other world-famous natural wonders such as the Yellowstone National Park in the United States, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the tropical rain forests of Sumatra.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) applies various criteria to judge whether a landscape meets the stringent demands for it to be recognised as having “outstanding universal value”. The Wadden Sea has, in fact, demonstrated its unique status for three of these criteria. Its importance for the conservation of biodiversity and the ecological and geological processes that still take place naturally truly make the Wadden Sea outstanding worldwide.
The Wadden Sea is a young and pristine landscape. More than 10,000 animal and plant species have discovered and thrive in this unique habitat. Microorganisms, plants and fungi, mussels, worms, fish, birds and mammals are among the inhabitants of this amazing region in the North Sea. True masters of survival, they have adapted perfectly to their natural environment and the elements.
Constantly reshaped by the interplay between high and low tide, the Wadden Sea always offers something new to discover: ever-changing tidal flats, sandbars and salt marshes reflect the special charm of this dynamic landscape. Each time when the water retreats, the Wadden Sea appears like a freshly painted piece of art with its gleaming tidal creeks and channels.
More than 10 million migratory birds use the Wadden Sea as a transitional habitat. This is the only place where they can find sufficient food and refuel with new energy for their long journey ahead.