This multimedia story format uses video and audio footage. Please make sure your speakers are turned on.

Use the mouse wheel or the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate between pages.

Swipe to navigate between pages.

Let's go

International Wadden Sea Research


Goto first page

Germany and the Netherlands invest EUR 15 million in 5 bilateral research projects that contribute to the development of sustainable management methods and effective protection of the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. Starting on June 1, 2024 with a duration of 4 years, the studies will focus on the multiple impacts of the triple ecological crisis (climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution) on the globally unique tidal system and its importance for coastal societies, whose socio-economic structures directly depend on the ecological health and resilience of the Wadden Sea.

In Germany, funding is provided as part of the "Aktionsprogramm Natürlicher Klimaschutz (ANK)" of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's (BMBF) Strategy for Research for Sustainability (FONA) and the Federal Government's research program " MARE:N – Küsten-, Meeres und Polarforschung für Nachhaltigkeit".

In the Netherlands, the call for funding is carried out as part of the Dutch Research Agenda, which focuses on research with a societal impact.
Goto first page

Goto first page

In the project, the physical, sedimentological, and ecological effects of measures for representatively chosen sites shall be assessed and integrated into monitoring schemes. In a living lab concept this project focusses on the feasibility of the different sediment management measures (direct and indirect nourishments to managed retreat) that can actively support the adaptation of tidal flats and barrier systems to sea level rise.

The law and governance of sediment based solutions in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark are analysed and management pathways are codeveloped. The project opens to other initiatives in an adaptive concept, thus allowing co-development with, and optimisation of other consortia. For this reason, at this stage individual exemplary living labs are suggested and integrated in an overarching discussion and modelling framework of the entire Wadden Sea.

The project is led by Christian Winter (Universität Kiel) and Zhengbing Wang (TU Delft).  
Goto first page

The project aims to provide society and political decision-makers with scientifically sound findings on the added value of species-rich and dynamic salt marshes. A transdisciplinary approach will be used to develop strategies based on the principle of nature-based gardening (NbG), so that species-rich and dynamic salt marsh ecosystems are promoted through targeted interventions and landscape design. These strategies will be based on expertise from science and research, the experience of nature conservation authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as other stakeholders and will be developed jointly.

Through a balance between sustainable management and ecological self-regulation, NbG aims to enable natural processes and further enhance the function, persistence and ecological value of the Wadden Sea salt marshes. The project brings together researchers from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, and creates synergies between the disciplines of coastal engineering, ecology and socio-economics in all project phases.

The project is led by Maike Paul (Leibniz Universität Hannover) and Erik Horstman (Universiteit van Twente).
Goto first page

In the project, researchers and stakeholders in the interdisciplinary framework of socioecology will jointly produce new syntheses and empirical observations on how the processes associated with the three UNESCO selection criteria (geomorphological, ecological and biodiversity) interact and how past, current and future human interventions could disrupt these interactions.

A jointly developed GIS-based decision support system (SedWay DSS) covering all 39 tidal basins will be developed. The tool will be used to rapidly assess potential threats to biophysical interactions and enable improved restoration planning to implement nature-based solutions within the local socio-ecological context.

The project is led by Bernd Siebenhüner (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg) and Tjisse van der Heide (NIOZ/Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).  
Goto first page

The project will analyze the effects of the triple crisis on ecological networks, ecological connectivity and ecosystem functions of salt marshes in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The field approach will be combined with field and mesocosm experiments. Ecological connectivity will be assessed by studying movement patterns and habitat use of birds.

TRICMA² includes a strong societal component and involves stakeholders from nature conservation, coastal protection, agriculture and tourism. Through joint activities of science and secondary schools, TRICMA² draws the attention of "future generations" to the ecological pressures on the ecosystems of the Wadden Sea. Based on acquired stakeholder knowledge and new scientific findings, guiding principles for the sustainable management of salt marshes will be developed.

The project is led by Kai Jensen (Universität Hamburg) and Chris Smit (Rijskuniversiteit Groningen).
Goto first page

The aim of "WAD was - WAD can we do?" is to develop a trilateral sediment action plan for the land-sea transition zone. The trilateral action plan brings together existing research results on sediment dynamics and coastal adaptation measures and at the same time explores their social legitimacy. Results will be made available in the form of potential interventions for local, national and trilateral decision-makers.

To this end, WADWAD forms a transdisciplinary think tank of experts from various scientific scientific disciplines, integrates existing knowledge through data mining and conducts a nature point-based assessment of the sediment situation in the Wadden Sea (past, status quo and future), which, in combination with a social cost-benefit analysis, enables the assessment of the added value of potential policy measures for the Wadden Sea ecosystem.

As an orientation for the legitimization of the Trilateral Action Plan an assessment of local citizens' awareness and potential acceptance of ecosystem-based coastal adaptation measures will be carried out.

The project is led by Diana Giebels (Universität Oldenburg/Universität Wageningen) and Jaap Nienhuis (Universität Utrecht).
Goto first page
Scroll down to continue Swipe to continue
Swipe to continue