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» Economics » National park in Germany » Topics begins with N » National park Wattenmeer of Lower Saxony

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 23:36:19

The national park Wattenmeer of Lower Saxony exists since 1986 and encloses the Ostfriesi islands, cotton wool and Seemar between Dollart at the border to the Netherlands in the west and Cuxhaven up to the external Elbe channel in the east. The national park is about 278,000 hectars largely. The national park administration is in Wilhelmshaven.


Protecting habitats of this national park are among other things the Wattenmeer, sand banks, salt meadows, beaches, dunes and into the North Sea. Special attention belongs thereby to the fauna and Flora typical for the Wattenmeer.

The coast of the North Sea is unusually flat. The bottom of the sea drops partly only few centimeters per kilometer. Twice daily the tide carries sand, clay/tone and silt into the area of the Wattenmeer. Dunes mark the coast, which the wind from the fine grains of sand from the exposed Watt develops.

The Wattenmeer is to the tropical rain forest the secondarymost productive ecological system - only this exceeds the Wattenmeer in alive biomass. In the Wattenmeer to finding ways of life cover flint algae, snails, worms, shells and shrimps. A typical inhabitant of the sand Watt is the Watt worm, which lives in an u-shaped tube under the Watt surface.

Up to 4.000 animal and plant types are in the unusually food-rich habitat Wattenmeer specialized. Thus live for example fire geese of the Watt snails, which are to be found to hundredthousands on the Watt surface. In addition those about 180,000 birds counting Northwestern European fire goose population spends its Mauserzeit between July and September in the Wattenmeer. Also about 200,000 oath pensions spend here their Mauserzeit; about 1,000 pairs of oath pensions use the Watt of the North Sea as breeding area. Most of it breed on the island Amrum.

The Wattenmeer rest area for breeding birds of nordischer countries, which corrode themselves here the fat reserves, is simultaneous, which need it for a successful brood. Thus appear itself in the entire Wattenmeer about 10-12 million wading birds, geese, ducks and sea gulls.

In the sand banks in the Wattenmeer sea-dogs are to be observed and to the Wattenmeer border salt meadows, sand beaches and dunes. On the salt meadows, which serve the and Seeschwalben as breeding area, the beach thistle and the Strandflieder flower in the summer. Most typical plant of the dunes is the beach grass, which fasten the dunes with their expanded root works.

A large role in the national park development played the protection of sea-birds and seals (keyword, particularly popular in the population: Sea-dog-die).

History of the national park

Already since the RAM acre convention of 1971 the today's national park surfaces and also the Dollart are as humid areas of international meaning protected.

1979 submitted Hans Joachim Augst and Holger an appraisal, which compiled a zoning model on basis of the meaning meanings of different ranges worthy of protection of the Wattenmeer. The regional planning program of Lower Saxony of 1982 gave thereupon the development of a nature park "Ostfriesi islands and coast" as a landesplanerisches goal forwards. This idea was taken up starting from 1983, which planning for a comprehensive national park began. At the beginning of of 1984 took place that in principle a national park approving cabinet decision and on 1 January 1986 came into force the national park regulation.

In accordance with the UNESCO program "one and biosphere" was recognized the entire national park 1992 as biosphere reservation, sees to biosphere reservation Wattenmeer of Lower Saxony.

The national park is with all zones announced bird protected area after the bird protection guideline of the European Union and with the zones I and II announced Flora fauna Habitatarea after the FFH guideline of the European Union, is subject thus to the protection of these two Natura-2000 guidelines.

First the national park was protected since the entry into force 1986 by a regulation, which was replaced 1999 by a law. Already on 11 July 2001 the law was in such a way amended by the federal state parliament of Lower Saxony that numerous surfaces for the tourism were taken out of the range of validity of the national park. But a pure sea area before the islands Borkum and Baltrum and the former protected area in the eastern part of the "Dollart" to the national park were also taken up. The protection surface became larger thereby from 240.000 hectares on nearly 280,000 hectares.

Against the removal of surfaces for the tourism a ostfriesische group of nature protection (cotton wool advice East Frisia) inserted complaint at the European Union commission into Brussels. The complaint was trained by the commission into a current violation of contract procedure against Germany (complaint number 2002/4099, AZ: ENV A2/MD/avdm D (2005) 6096)).

The national park Wattenmeer of Lower Saxony is internationally not recognized of that internationally union for Conservation OF Nature (IUCN) because of the many uses.


The national park is divided into three zones with different protection status.

  • Zone I: The most strictly protected quiescent zone constitutes about 60.7% of the surface and may all year round only within few ranges, for example on marked ways or in the context of led Watt migrations, be entered.
  • Zone II: The intermediate zone constitutes 38.7% of the surface and may with exception of proven bird protected areas on proven ways be all year round entered. The ranges mentioned may be entered in the main breeding, food and rest time of the birds in the yearly process in each case from 1 April to 31 July only on marked ways.
  • Zone III: The recovery zone constitutes the smallest surface portion with 0,6% and serves predominantly humans for the recovery.
  • Islands in the national park

    The national park contains also the surfaces of the islands Baltrum, Borkum, Langeoog, Juist, Mellum, Memmert, Minser Oog, Norderney, Spiekeroog and Wangerooge. Completely excluded from the national park protection are only the actual settlement and infrastructure ranges on the inhabited islands. In the context of the protected zone III the moreover one certain island ranges, which serve primarily the recovery, are relatively small protected (for example proven sections of edge of bathing).

    Address national park administration

    National park administration Wattenmeer of Lower Saxony
    Virchowstrasse 1
    D-26382 Wilhelmshaven
    Tel: 04421-9110

    Related links

    Information from the Department of the Environment of Lower Saxony

    Three national park centers:

    Several national park info. houses:

    Private combinations:

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