©  Inselgemeinde und Kurverwaltung Juist

Juist in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site

Discover the Juist Wadden Sea


Right in the middle instead of just being there!

The car-free North Sea island of Juist is located in the middle of the fascinating World Heritage Site and Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park.

Impressive numbers in the Wadden Sea

The Juist National Park fascinates!

©  Pascal Skwara

Did you know that ...

  • up to 100 lugworms
  • up to 2.000 cockles
  • up to 4.000 mud crabs
  • up to 100,000 mudflat snails
  • up to 2,500,000 sand lice

... live on one m² of ground in the Wadden Sea?

Crazy, isn't it?

Biodiversity in the Juist Wadden Sea

Big word, even bigger meaning for flora and fauna

Since 2009, the Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and belongs to the same category as the Great Barrier Reef: a place that must be protected at all costs. About 500 km long, the Wadden Sea stretches from the Netherlands to the Danish border and Juist is pretty much in the middle of it! And even more: The area is about 10.000 km²: You have to imagine that first. To help you: The Wadden Sea is more than 1 million soccer fields big. Huge!

The Wadden Sea is not only magically beautiful, but also offers a unique habitat for animals and plants. "Specialized" animal species have found their permanent or temporary home here - such as the migratory birds that rest here before their journey to warmer places.

Although the Wadden Sea accounts for only about 0.03% of Germany's total land area, about a quarter of the country's plants and about a fifth of its animals are found here.

In 2016, a whole 295 plant species were counted on Juist - also 71 bird species and 54 butterfly species. Amazing!

The Small Five on Juist

The no longer so secret stars of the Wadden Sea

Adaptable and true survival artists: these five little animals are representative of the Wadden Sea habitat. Do you know them all?

  • The lugworm and its "spaghetti heaps": The lugworm filters nutrients out of the sand and then excretes everything else as small heaps.
  • The cockle is also affectionately called the "sewage treatment plant" of the Wadden Sea, because it filters the seawater and extracts the nutrients. With the help of its burrowing foot, the snail can quickly burrow into the sandy bottom.
  • Who represents the North Sea more than a crab? The shore crab is often found on the mudflats and is so much more than just an important source of prey.
  • Small wonders: the wadden snails are incredibly common in the Wadden Sea. Not only do they contribute to the formation of mudflats, but they are perhaps the fastest snails when they let the waves give them a push.
  • North Sea shrimp grow up to 9.5 inches long - longer than what you'll find on your fish sandwich. The shrimp are roundish in shape and have long antennae.

And yet - even though the Wadden Sea has so many incredibly beautiful sights, species worthy of protection and enchanting plants to offer, this Wadden Sea habitat is threatened. Climate change, overfishing, tourism and many other crises are causing problems for the Wadden Sea. The island municipality of Juist as an official partner of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park tries everything to inform and sensitize its guests - and that's where you come on board!

©  Inselgemeinde und Kurverwaltung Juist
©  Inselgemeinde und Kurverwaltung Juist
©  Lars Wehrmann
©  Lars Wehrmann

World Heritage Site? National Park?

You can get confused, absolutely! Juist is a particularly beautiful spot on earth and this is also shown by the official descriptions of the Wadden Sea. Sometimes we say "Wadden Sea World Heritage" and sometimes "Wadden Sea National Park"... But which is true?

Well, we asked the experts, our National Park Ranger Markus Großewinkelmann and the director of the National Park House on Juist, Jens Heyken. We are happy to share the following information with you (a little bit of bragging knowledge for those at home):

  • National Park: A national park is a large protected area, which is protected from us humans and our interventions as well as pollution by certain protective measures and thus should be preserved for future generations. The Wadden Sea is so unique and so important as a habitat for animals and plants that, for example, the fast ferries are not allowed to drive super fast there or you are not allowed to just walk everywhere, only in certain zones. Since 1986, the Wadden Sea in Lower Saxony on the North Sea coast is protected as a national park.
  • World Heritage Site: The Wadden Sea of Lower Saxony is not "only" a national park, but also as an internationally recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site a very outstanding piece of nature (Unesco: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). So the Wadden Sea is a habitat that shows how life on earth develops and how animals and plants adapt to the conditions of the Wadden Sea. In addition, the Wadden Sea is also simply incredibly beautiful!
  • Biosphere Reserve: This is an area protected by UNESCO that is representative of the community of animals and plants found here and / or has a natural feature - which the Wadden Sea definitely does!


©  Lars Wehrmann
©  Pascal Skwara

Your and our responsibility

Love your dream island

©  Lars Wehrmann

Juist is located in the middle of the Wadden Sea. With such a location comes understanding for nature. We Juister and Juisterinnen protect our home as best we can and we ask you to help us, too. To preserve the Wadden Sea - that is our great concern, so that your children can also enjoy this breathtaking landscape for a long time to come.

Many paths and guided tours allow you to experience the Wadden Sea and to enjoy this natural spectacle respectfully: Please do not leave the marked paths and do not go into the Wadden Sea alone. Take part in a guided tour and let yourself be introduced to the secrets of the Wadden Sea. Walk along the paths on the island and learn from the display boards.

Protected areas in the Wadden Sea

Experience and respect nature

On Juist you will find many signs with marked protection zones. Please respect them accordingly and follow the rules. Only in this way can man, animal and nature coexist.

The following protected zones await you on Juist:

  • The quiet zone comprises the most sensitive part of the national park. Here the strictest protection regulations for animals and plants apply. These areas may only be entered on approved paths throughout the year. e. g. For example, the Kalfamer is not to be entered during the bird breeding and rearing seasons from April 1 to July 31.
  • The intermediate zone allows access only at certain times in compliance with various rules.
  • The recreation zone is used for spa and tourism purposes. Here, too, it is important to behave respectfully and mindfully and, for example, to use only official paths.

You can get further information on the leaflets in the tourist information offices or in the National Park House.

This is how you experience the Wadden Sea World Heritage on Juist:

Nationalpark-Haus auf Juist ©  Lars Wehrman

Nationalpark-Haus Juist

Learn all there is to know about the Nationalpark-Haus Juist! → ✓ Wide offers ✓ Exhibition ✓ Guided tours ✓ Mud flat hikes ✓ Family-friendly events

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Wattwanderung auf Juist ©  Lars Wehrmann

Mud Flat Hiking

Enjoy the world heritage site Waddendea during a mud flat hike | Juist's incomparable nature | Experienced guided tours with much insight | Discover the unique habitat Waddensea

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Zugvogeltage auf Juist ©  Lars Wehrmann

Migratory Bird Days

✓ Migratory Bird Days ✓ Theme: Birds of and in the Waddensea ✓ Many events for the whole family → Learn all there is to know about the migratory bird days on Juist!

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