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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Wadden Sea is a coastal area with tidal flats, a tidal rhythm of approximately 12 hours and a tidal amplitude of about 2.5 m. Some islands and sandbanks lie above the mean high water mark. The near shore areas are covered with salt resistant vegetation (salt-marshes).It includes:· Beaches, sand flats and sandbanks: These generally lack vegetation cover and lie between the mean high tide mark and the spring-tide high water mark. Pure sandy beaches can be found in the surf zone.· Salt-marshes: These form the natural transition zone between the tidal flats and the mainland, islands and Hallig islands. This semi-terrestrial habitat is formed naturally in areas where water currents and wave action are reduced, sedimentation of sand and mud can occur and the first pioneer plant species can settle. Salt-marshes can tolerate flooding by saltwater because the plants living there are adapted to high salt levels. Salt-marshes occur in the region between 40 and 50 cm above the mean high tide line.· Tidal mudflats and sands: high-lying mudflats and sandbanks that fall dry at low tide (eulittoral). Tidal flats are geo-morphologically flat and are divided by creeks and channels. They are often structured by sand ripples and tracks and signs of animals.· Creeks and channels: Creeks and channels extend into the tidal flats from the North Sea to the mainland. They are up to 4 km wide and many of them still contain water up to 1 m deep at low tide.· Marine area to the west in the transition zone between the Wadden Sea and the open sea (down to the 15 m below sea level)Human population in the Core Area 8, in the Buffer Zone 10 and in the Transition zone 459.Core and buffer zones are managed by the State of Schleswig-Holstein, State Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Agriculture State Office for the National Park Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea. The transition zone lies in the County of Nordfriesland in the districts of Pellworm and Nordstrand and includes the municipalities Hooge, Langeneί/Oland, Grφde and Nordstrandischmoor.
  Major ecosystem type   Marine Coastal
  Major habitats & land cover types   · Salt-marshes along the mainland and island coasts and on the Hallig islands
· Beaches, dunes and sands
· Tidal flats with creeks and channels
· Subtidal areas
  Location   Central point: 8° 16’ 2’’ 53° 59’ 56’’ External limits: 8° 33’ 15’’ 54° 29’ 5’’ 9° 1’ 1’’ 55° 6’ 16’’
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   443,100
  Core area(s)   157.000
  Buffer zone(s)   284.000
  Transition area(s) when given   2.100
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -15m below sea level up to 5.5 m above sea level
  Year designated   1990, extension 2004
  Administrative authorities   State Office for the National Park Schleswig- Holstein Wadden Sea

Last updated: 08/09/2005

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