Wilderness in the Wadden Sea National Park, Germany

The Wadden Sea National Parks in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are located along the Coast of the North Sea. In Germany and Denmark they also mark the area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Wadden Sea. Divided from each other by administrative borders, they form a single ecological entity. The purpose of the national parks is the protection of the Wadden Sea ecoregion.

The growing European Wilderness Network, is proof that Wilderness exist in almost every part of Europe. Among a number of Terrestrial Wilderness only a few Marine Wilderness pop up. One of them is definitely the potential Wilderness in the Waddensea National Park, Germany!

Vlado Vancura
Deputy Chairman of European Wilderness Society

With an area of 4410 km² it is by far the largest National Park in Germany. Some 68% of its area is permanently under water and 30% is periodically dry. The land element consists mainly of salt marshes.

We have visited this area in the past week with the objective to identify potential Wilderness in Schleswig-Holstein and checked the Wilderness interest of local park managers and NGOs working in this territory for the last years. We found both! Potential Wilderness and also committed managers and partners interested to discuss the issue of Wilderness Stewardship in this park.

Otto Dibelius
European Wilderness Society

The National Park covers an area from the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein by the Danish border in the north to the Elbe estuary in the south. In the northern area, the National Park boundary extends to the twelve mile territorial limit; to the south it reaches to about the three mile line. On the land side it runs in the sea 150 metres off the coast. Sea dykes and the foreland immediately in front of the dykes are not part of the national park; beaches are thus largely excluded from the protected zone. Also excluded from the National Park are the inhabited areas in the sea, including the five German North Frisian Islands. Part of the park comprises uninhabited islands, islets and Halligen or the North Frisian Barrier Island.

The Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park is a National Park in the Schleswig-Holstein area of the German Wadden Sea. It was founded in 1985 and expanded significantly in 1999. In this park certain zone/s have the potential to become a unique Marine Wilderness and member of the European Wilderness Network.

Max Rossberg
Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

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