Germany

The German Wadden Sea

If you travel to the German North Sea coast, you cannot miss the Wadden Sea:
The German part of the Wadden Sea stretches from the island of Sylt in the north to the Ems mouth at the Dutch border along the mainland coast, islands and hallig islands as well as estuaries of Eider, Elbe, Weser and Jade.
Discover this largest and most varied part of the international Wadden Sea on a class trip to one of the German IWSS-destinations:
Dive into the unique world of the Hallig islands on Hooge, follow the track of the famous novelist Theodor Storm in Husum or experience the historical harbour flair in Tönning.
Explore the smallest German National Park around the island of Neuwerk, discover the history of the navy and shipping in Wilhelmshaven or embark on trip to the Lower Saxon marshes and islands from Dornumersiel.
The IWSS-Partner Centres in Germany look forward to your visit! All programmes and activities are offered in English or German language. At several destinations, activities are  also offered in Dutch and Danish.

Nature & Landscape

Due to the different development of the northern and western coastal landscapes, the German Wadden Sea is the most diverse part of the trilateral Wadden Sea area: The islands in the North Frisian (Schleswig-Holstein) Wadden area are partly remains of former marshland that was flooded and washed away by storm tides, above all during the most severe flood in 1634. The islands and high sandbars in the East Frisian Wadden Sea (Lower Saxony) are part of a chain of barrier islands that was formed from beach ridges. The Wadden between the “Jadebusen” and the river Elbe have developed in a slightly different way under the influence of currents and estuaries.

Culture & History

The culture and history of the German Wadden Sea region is just as in Denmark and The Netherlands strongly influenced by whaling and fishing on the seaward side, livestock trade and agriculture on the landward side and the continuous struggle for new land in between.
Old and new land-reclamation and coastal protection measures such as polders, old dikes or flood barriers witness this effort and storm surge poles give an idea of the North Sea’s power. All over the islands and along the coast you can find traces of the old times of wealthy whalers, the oxen’s long way to the markets or the simple life of the fishermen.  
Very special is the culture and history of the worldwide unique Hallig islands. Nowhere else you can find such islands without dikes and many traditions are still alive or presented in picturesque local history museums.

Nature conservation

The German Wadden Sea is almost entirely protected as National Park, nature protection area or Biosphere Reserve. In fact, there are three different Wadden Sea National Parks, each with its own regulations: the Wadden Sea National Parks of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony. This is because the coastal federal states are individually responsible for the implementation of the “Federal Nature Conservation Act”.
The Wadden Sea National Park of Lower Saxony is at the same time recognized as Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve “Wadden Sea and Hallig island of Schleswig-Holstein” reaches beyond the National Park area and also includes the Halig islands. In the last years, the “Halligen” that have been identifying quite strongly with “their” Biosphere and launch several joint projects among which also tourist and educational projects.

Depending on the destination of your choice you will get quite different impressions of the Wadden Sea. However, all of them are worth visiting and full of unforgettable experience!