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The Waddensea: Abundant food source
The most important feature of the Waddensea is the enormous displacement of water during low and high tide. Twice every twenty-four hours, large parts of the Waddensea fall dry, while the wad is completely flooded with water during high tide. This makes the Waddensea a rather abundant food source for many animal species. Every tidal change brings sand, silt, plankton and all kinds of other nutrients, in addition to the enormous amount of water.
Though large amounts of sand and silt enter the Waddensea, the area does not silt up. The strong current carries a large amount of this material back to the North Sea.
Plankton serves as food for the shells and worms that live on the bottom of the wad. These, in turn, serve as food for the fish and birds. Finally, the fish is food to the common seal that lives in the Waddensea. The seal is at the end of the food chain in the Waddensea and this makes it a good indicator for the quality of the environment.
The environment in the Waddensea is determined largely by the quality of the water in the European rivers, which reaches the Waddensea through the North Sea. The substances that are discharged into the rivers, end up in the Waddensea and accumulate there. Over the last decades, the amount of discharged chemical substances and heavy metals has decreased considerably. The quality of the Waddensea has also improved in this respect. However, as long as too many polluting substances end up in the sea water, great vigilance is required.
Wad-walking from point to point is not possible on Texel, but there are wad-excursions. The wad bottom that has fallen dry may seem barren, but it is crawling with life. During this nature excursion you will discover what takes place under your feet. Applications at EcoMare, tel. 0222-317741.
Wadden Sea World Heritage
To be placed on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, a region must be very special. It must possess unique nature values and be intact, and its protection must be guaranteed. The Wadden Sea has been deemed to be globally unique in at least three criteria for outstanding universal value! Wadden worldheritage
Map of the area www.waddenzeeschool.nl