Amazing Facts About Wadden Sea, A UNESCO World Heritage Site | Kidadl


Amazing Facts About Wadden Sea, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The Wadden Sea forms a shallow body of water with wetlands and tidal flats between the range of low-lying Frisian islands and the coast of northwestern continental Europe.

You can conveniently locate the Wadden Sea in the North Sea's southeastern part in the form of an intertidal zone. The place is well known for its biological diversity and also functions as a key area for breeding as well as migratory birds.

There are parts of the Wadden Sea that fall under the geographical boundaries of the countries of Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Interestingly, the part of the Wadden Sea which falls within the geographical boundaries of Germany and the Netherlands was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site back in 2009 itself but the segment of the sea in Denmark was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site in as late as June 2014.

Deep tidal trenches, tidal mudflats, and islands primarily mark the area of the Wadden Sea as it is sometimes the part of a sea but at times turns into the land surface. Today the islands that we see in the Wadden Sea are remnants of earlier coastal dunes. Over the years, the coastline of the Wadden Sea has undergone drastic changes due to floods which have also led to the deaths of several people. Scroll down to learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage site, a shallow inlet in the North sea.

Geographic Location

The Wadden Sea is generally seen as a shallow inlet of the well-known North sea located between the northern Netherlands mainland and the West Frisian Islands. It acts as a connector between the Western Frisian islands and the North Sea, extending to a depth of around 150 ft (50 m).

In general terms, the Wadden Sea extends along the coasts of Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The sea stretches from the city of Den Helder located in the northwestern part of the Netherlands and goes on to pass through Germany's great river estuaries ultimately reaching the Skallingen in Denmark. From the Netherlands to Denmark, the coastline of the Wadden Sea stretches across a distance of 310 mi (500 km) and at the same time covers a total area of 3,900 sq mi (10,000 sq km). Did you know, there are three German Wadden Sea national parks that have been established to protect the Wadden Sea. These parks include the likes of Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park, Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, and the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park with the latter being the smallest of all.

Environment And Fauna

The Wadden Sea is believed to have a coastal wetland environment that has formed over a period of time due to intricate interactions taking place between biological and physical factors. This interaction then leads to a host of transitional habitats with sandy shoals, mussel beds, salt marshes, estuaries, tidal channels, dunes, sandbars, mudflats, and beaches.

At the same time, the Wadden Sea is well known for its rich fauna, especially the birds which arrive at its sea coast. It has been observed that the Wadden Sea is a rich habitat for seabirds such as terns and gulls, along with other bird species such as Eurasian spoonbills, herons, and white-tailed eagles. Geese, waders, and ducks use the Wadden Sea as a wintering site or a migration stopover. But due to climate change and a rapid increase in human activity near the sandy beaches of the Wadden Sea, its biodiversity has reduced.

One could earlier spot Dalmatian pelicans and greater flamingos on the sea coast as well. Did you know the Danish section of the Wadden Sea is the only natural home to the European whitefish species houting. The Wadden Sea hosts a variety of other fishes as well, such as brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and rays. Researchers have noted that the majority of the aquatic animals living in the Wadden Sea are at risk due to a significant reduction in the amount of water flowing into the Wadden Sea from the Rhine river. But at the same time, the Wadden Sea is still the natural habitat of various sea animals such as the grey seals, the harbor seals, the white-beaked dolphins, and the harbor porpoises.

It is believed that back in medieval times, gray whales and North Atlantic right whales also lived in the shallow waters of the Wadden sea and used it as a region for breeding purposes but were sadly hunted to extinction several centuries earlier.

In recent years, there has been a rise in human activity on the coasts of this World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Site

The Wadden sea is best known for its one-of-a-kind ecological and geological values which have led to it becoming the world's largest tidal system. The Wadden Sea became a World Heritage site in 2009, and then a section of it was further added to the list in 2014 under criterion (viii), criterion (ix), and criterion (x).

One of the most distinctive features of the Wadden Sea is its tidal flats and barrier system with hardly any river influences. The coastline of the sea is unparalleled in all means ranging from its scale to its diversity. The uninterrupted natural processes all across the coast of the Wadden Sea have led to the creation of gullies, channels, barrier islands, salt marshes, and flats. At the same time, the Wadden Sea has a very high production of biomass, and the same is reflected in the number of birds, fishes, and shellfishes supported by the property.

Moreover, the Wadden Sea is also often visited by migratory birds and plays a key role in sustaining wildlife populations. The sea coast is believed to be home to around 2,300 flora and fauna species with several migratory species as well who prefer the region due to the easy availability of food.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is nowadays visited by a large number of people from all across the world owing to its unique characteristics.

Did you know, the Wadden Sea is the largest piece of an unbroken area that is submerged during high tide and emerges above water level during low tide. The Frisian islands refer to all the islands present in the Wadden Sea as a collective whole. In 1986, UNESCO declared the area surrounding the Warren Sea as a reverse biosphere. It has also emerged as one of the largest wetlands on Earth. Interestingly, the Wadden Sea is believed to be the only sea area on Earth with such a pleasant climate.


What is the Wadden Sea known for?

The Wadden Sea is extensively known for its unique geological and ecological characteristics along with the wide variety of flora and fauna at its helm.

Where is the Wadden Sea located?

Warden Sea is located alongside the coasts of Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

What is the significance of the Wadden Sea?

The Wadden Sea has unparalleled universal value as it is the world's largest unbroken system of mudflats and intertidal sand.

When and why was the Wadden Sea declared a World Heritage Site?

A section of the Wadden Sea was announced as a World Heritage Site in 2009 and the other in 2014 owing to the unique features of the sea and especially for its system of tidal flats.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?