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Dollart and its surrounding area

The Dollart (German name) or Dollard (Dutch name) is a bay in the Wadden Sea between the northern Netherlands and Germany, on the west side of the estuary of the Ems river. Most of it dries at low tide. Many water birds feed there.


Gaining from and losing to the seaEdit

Recovery of the fringes of the Dollart: polders on the German (right and top) and Dutch (left and bottom) sides

The Dollart Bay was probably created in the 15th century, caused by rising water levels, sinking land surfaces, storm surges and civil strife. Though the land was protected by dikes, feuds between the main Schieringer and Vetkoper parties were detrimental for community efforts. As a result, dike maintenance was neglected and sluices were destroyed. From 1413 onward the sea overflowed the district of Reiderland and large parts of the Oldambt district. By 1520 the Dollart had its largest extension. Between the 16th and the 20th centuries, two third of drowned area have been reclaimed again.

Nowadays the unembanked forelands have been declared world natural heritage. They are a paradise for all kinds of birds and other aquatic species. The organisation for landscape protection in Groningen, Het Groninger Landschap, offers excursions into the Dollart area about three times a year.

Border disputeEdit

Disputed border between Germany and the Netherlands

The Netherlands and Germany do not agree on the exact course of the border through the bay,[1] yet they have agreed to disagree by signing a treaty in 1960, laying out mutual responsibilities.[2] Around 2011, the territorial dispute gained relevance with plans for the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm.[3] The question about use and administration of the territorial waters between 3 and 12 nautical miles (where the wind farm is located) was settled with another treaty in 2014 by defining a "line", while the border dispute itself remained unresolved.[4]



External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Dollard at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°17′N 7°10′E / 53.29°N 7.16°E / 53.29; 7.16