Wadden Sea, Germany & the Netherlands
The Wadden Sea site in Germany and the Netherlands was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009. It’s a large relatively flat coastal wetland environment, with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-grass meadows, mussel beds, sandbars, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches, and dunes. The site is the breeding and wintering area for up to 12 million birds each year. It also hosts marine mammals, including the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina - pictured here), gray seal, and harbor porpoise and is one of the only remaining large-scale intertidal ecosystems where natural processes continue to function largely undisturbed.
Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the “Crown Jewels of our Ocean” and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.