BR/NP Wattenmeere

Wattenmeer Biosphere Reserve/National Park; Wadden Sea

National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.

The Watt is an ecosystem which forms part of the North Sea, a strip of shallow coastal water around 10 km wide which stretches 450 km from Esbjerg in Denmark along the southern shores of the sea to Den Helder in the Netherlands. Its total surface area is about 8,000 km2, and 60% of this falls within German territory.

The Wattenmeer - sand and mud flats along the North Sea coast - is one of the most productive natural environments in the world, unique in its expanse and teeming with life.

Along with the higher slopes of the Alps, this is the last natural landscape of major size in Central Europe.

The Wattenmeer incorporates a great variety of habitats, including channels of constant water, salty foreshore grasslands and a diversity of islands.

Many species of bird nest and raise their young or else rest here during migration. It is the nursery of North Sea fish and provides a home for seals.

But this important habitat is seriously in jeopardy due to increasing pollution of the North Sea and the disruption caused by mass tourism.

In June 2009 the Wadden Sea was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The sampling area is situated in that area.


Sylt-Römö-Watt Northernmost of the three sub-areas in the BR/NP Wattenmeere
Meldorfer Bucht incl. Trischen Bay with an open mudflat area.
Jadebusen incl. Mellum Bay mudflat area and estuary of the river Weser.


Common bladder wrack Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
Blue mussel One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea
Eelpout As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
Herring gull Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Organometallic compounds Organic substances with at least one metall atom
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Polycyclic musks Class of synthetic fragrances
Alkylphenol compounds Class of non-ionic surfactants and their degradation products
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1985 - 2019