The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site forms the largest contiguous sand and mudflat system in the world, where dynamic processes can take place in a largely undisturbed natural state. It extends over 500 km along the coastline of three countries: Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park is located in the middle of the World Heritage Site.
The Wadden Sea is home to over 10,000 plant and animal species that have adapted to the changing living conditions. Millions of migratory birds depend on the Wadden Sea as a stopover and resting place. The Wadden Sea is therefore indispensable for the preservation of global biodiversity.
The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park is also part of the World Natural Heritage. The national park is one of the wildest national parks in Germany with about 90% wilderness area. It is a good 100 km away from the Speicherstadt at the mouth of the Elbe.
The seabed under your feet and the vastness of the sky before your eyes. The tides expose the seabed twice a day up to 20 km and thus to the horizon.
Hamburg is one of the few major cities in the world to have a national park. The island Neuwerk is part of the district Mitte. With its 43 inhabitants, the island is the only inhabited area in the entire Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
In 2009, the Dutch-German Wadden Sea was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, followed by the Danish part in 2014. World Heritage status is the highest distinction a natural landscape can receive and a special appreciation of its outstanding global significance. This puts the Wadden Sea in line with other world-famous natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon in the USA and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which are also part of the World Heritage.