WSF News

"Leave more room for the water" Newspaper Article

2021-11-18 NWZ Artikel Vortrag StadlandWe were very happy to accept the Landfrauen's invitation on 15 November 2021 and gave a lecture about changing coastlines and water dynamics with regard to the Weser inlet between Butjadingen and Bremerhaven. Please read the full article (full article in German)

Project "TrilaWatt" (01/2022 - 12/2024)

Copyright=CWSS -Fieldmission2008UNESCOThe WSF is happy to announce that "A digital hydro-morphological twin for the trilateral Wadden Sea (short: TrilaWatt)" has been finally approved in November 2021. According to the Open-data initiative of the German Federal Ministries, the main aim of this project proposal is to compile available datasets on sediment, geomorphology and hydrodynamic with respect to the trilateral Wadden Sea area. In this project, the WSF is cooperating with the German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW, Lead partner) and two SMEʼs (smile Consult GmbH and planGIS GmbH) in order to compile these datasets and develop case studies. The project offer is to identify and take up selected cases based on stakeholder involvement on a trilateral level organised by the WSF. For example, these cases could comprise investigations on topics such as accessibility of small Wadden Sea harbours, the development of the geomorphology in the Wadden Sea, which is linked to the OUVʼs, or the minimisation of disturbances of the World Heritage area potentially caused by maintenance work in fairways. Institutions and organisations throughout the WSR announced their support to the consortium such as Kystdirektoratet (DK), LLUR (SH), NLWKN (Nds), Rijkswaterstaat (NL) and on the trilateral level the CWSS (with respect to TMAP), which guarantee data availability and the demand on cooperation for jointly working on these topics in the entire Wadden Sea area. More Information will follow soon!

Project on "Sustainable shipping in the trilateral Wadden Sea" approved

469px Logo DBU 2014As lead partner, the WSF submitted the joint project proposal to the DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, German Federal Environmental Foundation) and it was finally approved in November 2021. The long project title is “Development of cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder concepts for sustainable shipping in the trilateral Wadden Sea”. The main aim of this project is to work jointly on a dialogue platform in order to set-up a multi-stakeholder network dealing with shipping and harbours in the World Heritage site Wadden Sea. The consortium consists of representatives from the WSF member WHV e.V., the Wadden Sea Team and further green NGOʼS working ion the WSR, the Wadden Sea Ports and the Water Police Inspection Oldenburg. Duration of the project: November 2021 - March 2023 (18month). More Information will follow soon!

MediaWatt has now its own Youtube Channel

Youtube Kanal WSF-MediaWattOur project "MediaWatt" deals with youth media work and the topics around climate change and its consequences for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. The first films have already been completed and can be seen not only here on our website "MediaWatt", but also on our own YouTube channel "MEDIA WATT"!

WSF-40 plenary meeting on 29 and 30 September 2021

WSF40plenary-30Sep2021After a long time with no physical contact the municipality of Skaerbaek welcomed all participants to the 40th plenary meeting of the Wadden Sea Forum (WSF 40) on 29 - 30 September 2021. Topics of the meeting were the implementation of "regional round tables" regarding shipping, development of Goose management under AEWA, future projects of the WSF as well as contribution to the next Trilateral Governmental Conference and the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the WSF.

Pellworm and Spiekeroog "Star-Islands" and "Intern. Dark Sky Communities"

IDA-09-2021-Spiekeroog-©Kai-KrögerThe islands of Pellworm and Spiekeroog in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea are now recognized as Star Islands (Sterneninsel in German) and International Dark Sky Communities by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The two islands, Pellworm in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Spiekeroog in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea, still offer a natural night landscape with a dark, starry night sky. In order to preserve the quality of night skies in this region, the two islands set out to be model examples for the protection of the night through appropriate lighting.  (

Project "MediaWatt" (05/2021 - 5/2022)

Außenfilmarbeiten-Projekt-MediaWatt2021-2022-WSFThe WSF has recently started the project "MediaWatt" and wants to increase its focus on youth media work and bring issues related to climate change and its consequences for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, as it is already visible and discussed in the region, to the public. Furthermore, it is important to raise the awareness of the population, especially of younger people, about changes and impacts on the region. At the same time, various topics are to be presented in a way that appeals to young people and opportunities for exerting influence will be presented in the media. By permanently anchoring the media workplace (television and radio) at the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Centre in Wilhelmshaven, an adequate solution has been thought through for the period of the one-year voluntary service. (read more)


Invitation_EightJune2021_WSF_ARTPORTOn 8 June, at the World Oceans Day the project idea WE ARE OCEAN_WADDEN SEA is going to present its 45 min introduction event. Information will be given about art at the Wadden Sea, followed by "The Wadden Sea – Experienced, explored and narrated", statements from artists working with the Wadden Sea, an artistic film, interviews and a video about the World Heritage Visitor Center as venue. If you would like to participate, please register at

"Initiative for more safety in the Wadden Sea" Newspaper Article

20210503_Initiative_Sicherheit_Wattenmeer_Hansa-onlineRecently the "HANSA - International Maritime Journal" placed an article about a new initiative on shipping safety in the Wadden Sea Region by Dr. Frank Ahlhorn.
Abstract: "The incident of the MSC Zoe has has thrown a spotlight on a familiar debate: Shipping and safety in the Wadden Sea. A new round table is to push the issue forward. Interested parties are invited to join the debate. The focus is on ship safety but also on land-based consideration."
Please read the full article in the latest HANSA publication, May 2021 (Article in German - link to HANSA online)

WSF 39 plenary meeting on 17 and 18 March 2021

Logo-WSF-GCD-webThe WSF held two online conferences on March 17 and 18, 2021, as the WSF-39 Plenary Session.
"Green Coastal Deal" (17 March): On the first day, 30 participants discussed the implementation of a "Green Coastal Deal" in the Wadden Sea Region through the WSF. The most important pillar within the WSF should be the establishment of Regional Round Tables in the respective regions. In the Netherlands, in Schleswig-Holstein and in Denmark already existing organizations have been identified to act as 'Regional Round Tables'. On March 17, the first topics were identified that could be discussed within the round tables.
WSF-39-Participants-17-03-21"Energy Transition" (18 March): The second day of the WSF online conference focused on the topic of Energy Transition and its implications for the Wadden Sea. Various presenters, both WSF members as well as external parties, presented current projects or plans related to the Wadden Sea Region. Among others, the topics were the integration of ports into the hydrogen strategy or the landing of cable corridors of offshore wind farms as well as about the energy transition on Wadden Sea islands in the Netherlands and Denmark. This intensive exchange was accompanied by up to 35 participants. More than 25% of the participants were non WSF members, who showed a great interest in this technical and trilateral exchange.

"Rethink coastal protection and drainage" Newspaper Article

Article-Anzeiger_fuer_Harlingerland_16-03-2021Recently the "Anzeiger fürs Harlingerland" placed an article about coastal management on new challenges due to climate change and human activities in the coastal area by Dr. Frank Ahlhorn. "...The challenges do not only consist of the effects of climate change. Even human activities in the coastal area require constant adaptation in the existing infrastructures." (read the full article in German)

2nd Climate Vulnerability Index workshop

CVI_Workshop_on_16-17-Feb-2021On 16 – 17 February 2021 the WSF participated in the second phase of the workshop "Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) at UNESCO Worldheritage Wadden Sea". The workshop on Community Vulnerability was facilitated by the CVI developers Scott Heron and Jon Day (Townsville, Australia). The 2 phase included material of a World Heritage Marine Programme site managers e-meeting, where the chairpersons of the Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH), Barbara Engels, and EG-C, Robert Zijlstra, and the CVI developers, presented the results of the CVI process in the Wadden Sea. Preparatory to the workshop, the CVI developers provided video information on the CVI method and on outcomes of the Phase 1 Workshop on Outstanding Universal Value Vulnerability, where workshop participants prioritised three key climate stressors impacting the OUV of the Wadden Sea: sea level rise, temperature increase and extreme heat events.

GET INVOLVED in the Green Coastal Deal SURVEY

Report Round Table Shipping Safety - Trilateral Stakeholder Analysis by WSFThis survey splits into two parts:

1) write a short text on what you think a “Green Coastal Deal” should consist of (max. 500 words).
2) you receive an excel-sheet with the kindest request to fill-in the boxes.

Please, understand this survey as first step in compiling issues, which are linked to a “Green Coastal Deal” in your point of view. GreenCoastalDeal_WSF-Survey
more information on page : GreenCoastalDeal

Round Table "Shipping Safety" - Trilateral Stakeholder Analysis

Report Round Table Shipping Safety - Trilateral Stakeholder Analysis by WSFShipping and harbour developments are important businesses along the Wadden Sea coast and contribute to socio-economic welfare in the Wadden Sea Region. For a healthy future, these sectors should face necessary sustainable improvements, also to reach wide acceptance as growing economic branch. The Forum for the trilateral Wadden Sea Region was assigned by the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park Authority to conduct a trilateral stakeholder analysis with regard to the topic “shipping and ports”. This report is a concise description of the relevant identified stakeholders and their expectations and interests.
Download the full report.

With Hydrogen to Mittelplate

Mittelplate with supply vessel ©WintershallDeaThe feasibility of equipping the supply vessels for the Mittelplate drilling and production island in the German North Sea with hydrogen hybrid propulsion system was mentioned yesterday (Tuesday 20 October 2020) by Wintershall Dea, Europe’s leading independent gas and oil company. The announcement coincided with the visit of Lower Saxony’s Minister President Stephan Weil to EnTec Industrial Services in Cuxhaven. It is planned that the ships will be propelled emission free by electric engines that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Please read more under

WSF 38 plenary meeting on 29 October

WSF 38 plenary meeting as online meetingThe WSF-38 took place as a hybrid meeting on 29 October 2020. After the previously planned meetings were either cancelled or held as online meetings in small groups, the WSF-38 was actively attended by approx. 20 participants. On the agenda were two main topics that are important for the future development of the Forum for the Trilateral Wadden Sea Region. The first topic was the orientation of the Forum towards the path towards a "Green Deal" as decided by the European Union. With the different topics and focal points, the Forum for the Trilateral Wadden Sea Region is well positioned to initiate a "Green Coastal Deal". Furthermore, an intensive discussion was held on the WSF's position on the newly developing Partnership Hub within the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation. Further topics at WSF-38 were the financing and joint activities through media coverage of the WSF's work".

Holger Ansmann (MdL) visited the WSF

Holger Ansmann zu Gast beim WSFOn October 14, 2020, Holger Ansmann (SPD), member of the state parliament, paid a visit to the WSF and welcomed the new managing director Dr. Frank Ahlhorn. Due to his activities for his election district Wilhelmshaven, he already knew the WSF under the former head Manfred Vollmer and after a short round of introductions, Mr. Ansmann inquired about the current tasks in the WSF. He was particularly interested in the connection to the subject of shipping and ports, for which he is chairman of the subcommittee on ports and shipping. "Against the background of the accidents and near-accidents in recent years in the area of the Wadden Sea and the recognition of the Wadden Sea as a world heritage, the subject of ship safety is essential" ”says Ansmann. In the course of the conversation for the Wadden Sea Forum, Dr Ahlhorn referred to future-oriented topics that are already being addressed today and will become increasingly relevant in the coming years: "The Wadden Sea Forum is taking the current pandemic as an opportunity to address the topic of Risk Management for the Coastal Region "to deal with the involvement of volunteers in crisis situations". In addition, the topic of "use of clean and regenerative energy sources" in various areas will be able to make a decisive contribution to sustainable development in the Wadden Sea Region."

Cooperation talks - Dr. Frank Ahlhorn together with WHV e.V.

WSF zu Gast beim WHV e.V. (copyright:WHV e.V.)Dr. Frank Ahlhorn was invitated to meet the executive board of the Wilhelmshavener Hafenwirtschafts-Vereinigung e.V. (WHV e.V.) and had an initial conversation about a possible future cooperation with John H. Niemann, Hans-Joachim Uhlendorf and Heiner Holzhausen.
For the local maritime industry (consisting out of the Lower Saxony Port Representation (NHV), the working group of Lower Saxonian Sea Ports and the WHV e.V.), Hans-Joachim Uhlendorf has already been involved in the WSF for years, which lays the foundation for authorized representation between the maritime industry and the WSF. "Our main topics for the WSF are e.g. a CO2-neutral Wadden Sea Region. This coincides with projects that we are planning together with investors for the port of Wilhelmshaven" says the WHV e.V. board. "We see this as a basis for concrete cooperation with the WSF."
The interviewees see further possibilities for cooperation in the following:
- Participation in the planned "Round Table Ship Safety in the German Bight"
- Initiative for the natural preservation of shipping lanes through so-called ecological sediment management
- Risk Management, e.g. for flood and disaster control
- Demographic change in the Wadden Sea Region and its consequences
- Routing and shore connection for the submarine cables of offshore wind farms
The participants in the conversation agreed that this first contact laid the foundation for further trusting discussions.

Radio OLDENBURG1-Bücherwelten Interview

Radiosender O1 Bücherwelten Logo

In a very lively discussion, moderator Thomas Kleinspehn interviewed our managing director Dr. Frank Ahlhorn on the Wadden Sea Forum and its content.

Friday, 02 October 2020 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Rebroadcast: 11. October 2020 from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm

Link download .mp3 (in German)

Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen exchanged ideas with WSF

Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen beim WSF (copyright: Ulf Berner)During a visit to the WSF office on August 25th a broad discussion about relevant topics from medical supplies, offshore energy to climate change and its consequences for the coastal region were covered by the state parliament member Meta Janssen-Kucz (Leer / Borkum) as well as the port and shipping politicians of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Bärbel Kraus and Ulf Berner together with the new managing director of the WSF, Dr. Frank Ahlhorn. Ms. Janssen-Kucz highlighted the successful efforts of the WSF to work on nature and climate protection in the Wadden Sea Region across national borders together with a sustainable economy and to think of this region as an attractive living space for people and to promote it in projects. Dr. Ahlhorn presented current projects and future plans, such as the initiative for "ecological sediment management" in the Wadden Sea or the intended exchange on the routes planned through the Wadden Sea for the submarine cables connecting off-shore wind farms with the mainland. Dr. Ahlhorn made clear that the WSF understands and offers itself as a neutral discussion/exchange platform for various topics for the Wadden Sea Region. Ulf Berner: "Climate protection and making business are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary, we need an innovative, sustainable economy to protect this living space and to further develop it at the same time."

New Managing Director WSF is Dr. Frank Ahlhorn

Dr. Frank AhlhornThe long-time managing director of the Forum, Manfred Vollmer, retired in July 2020. On August 1, Dr. Frank Ahlhorn has been taken over. Dr. Ahlhorn has been dealing with topics on the coast of the southern North Sea for over 20 years. He studied mathematics and marine environmental sciences in Oldenburg and received his doctorate in the field of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IKZM) at the University of Kiel. As part of his professional positions at the Coast Research Center, as a research assistant at the University of Oldenburg and nine years of self-employment, Dr. Ahlhorn worked on various research projects related to the coast at regional, national and European level. Topics such as flood and coastal protection as well as civil protection and water management, but also demographic change played a role. Dr. Ahlhorn grew up in Butjadingen, Wesermarsch district, directly behind the dike. In the WSF, Dr. Ahlhorn wants to further expand and strengthen the successful cooperation between the various players from the local region, but also from the Netherlands and Denmark.

WSF Goose Management Newspaper Article

Article-Ostfriesische-Nachrichten_E-Paper-4Jan2020Recently the "Ostfriesische Nachrichten" placed an article about our position regarding Goosemanagement. "Farmers are annoyed about damages caused by barnacle geese. Wadden Sea Forum calls for a quick solution for agriculture in Leer and complains about the inactivity of the regions." (read the full article in German) and (see more information on Goosemanagement)

WSF Resolution Goose Management

WSF Resolution GänsemanagementThe WSF plenary discussed in its meeting on 18-19 November the process of implementing the AEWA management plans for Greylag and Barnacle geese on flyway level. These management plans were adopted by the range states in December 2018. For the implementation in the different countries Favorable Reference Values (FRVs) have to be defined. As this process is lacking, the WSF elaborated a resolution, which requests the responsible ministries to speed up the process and support the AEWA concept. The Meeting adopted the resolution without any vote of dissent. (see more information and document)

WSF presents Policy Paper "Watermanagement"


Climate change is a fast growing threat impacting the Wadden Sea Region (WSR) with the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site and its hinterland, where people live, work and recreate. The Wadden Sea Forum has elaborated a policy paper on challenges of water management in the Wadden Sea Region due to climate change. The paper reflects the view of the different stakeholders of the WSF and is forwarded to responsible organisations and decision makers to consider WSF recommendations in their dealings.
The policy paper is available in the languages English, German, Nederlands, Danish.

Inventory Report for a climate friendly Waddensea Region


At the 11th Trilateral Governmental Conference for the Protection of the Wadden Sea on Sylt in 2010, it had been stated that the Wadden Sea Region (WSR) shall develop into a CO2-neutral region. This was reinforced at the conference in 2014 in Tønder.
To analyze the progress with regard to this aim, the Wadden Sea Board in cooperation with the WSF agreed to elaborate an inventory of CO2 reduction policies, measures and best practices. This was done on different levels, to get a complete picture, encompassing the European and national levels as well as the Wadden Sea Region with its provinces, counties and municipalities. On the local level only best practice examples have been compiled. The full report is now available for download. see here more information to CO2 and the report