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World Heritage Centre

Construction of the new World Heritage Centre Wadden Sea in Lauwersoog will start in 2023, which we will festively open in 2025. A brand-new building, where we may not only continue our work, but also expand. Because when you say seal, you say Sealcentre Pieterburen. But do you also say Wadden Sea and the entire ecosystem? In 50 years, we have achieved a lot for the seals. But we also know so much more about their habitat, the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Wadden Sea. We see the Wadden Sea as an indicator of the total ecosystem, of which we as humans are also part. And of course we want it to do well. That is why it is so important to improve our own relationship with nature in the future. Will you join us?  

UNESCO World Heritage the Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site is the largest continuous tidal area in the world. A unique area that is the only one of our country to have UNESCO Natural World Heritage status. In the Wadden area, you can experience at first hand how valuable, complex and challenging man's relationship with nature is. We will take our unique working method, knowledge and 50 years of experience in seal care and rehabilitation to Lauwersoog. In doing so, we will build a new and better awareness of the relationship between man and nature. And we invite you to work on this relationship with us. Curious? On the World Heritage Centre Wadden Sea project website you can learn more about the new centre and get a taste of the atmosphere.  

Pieterburen as inspiration and starting point

For the development of the World Heritage Centre, we naturally drew inspiration from our own campus in Pieterburen and from the Waddenloods in Lauwersoog, a lodge for fishing and research. At both places, students and other interested parties gather to learn in practice from veterinarians, biologists and ecologists. These students often develop a special and lasting bond with this place, where they work so intensively together on the welfare of marine animals and their habitat. The World Heritage Centre wants to give its visitors that same feeling: being part of the community concerned with the health of the Wadden Sea for a while. That is why there is no "before" and "after" at the World Heritage Centre. As a visitor, you get to know the people who work there, and the work they do.

And of course, we will start doing that from now on. The move is planned in two years, until then we will stay in Pieterburen. But that doesn't mean we will continue doing the same thing for another two years. In the coming period, our programming and activities will focus more on (current) themes around the Wadden Sea. Will you visit us in the coming years? Then you will still learn about the Netherlands' largest predator. But who knows what you might also discover about its habitat!

Overdue maintenance

Pieterburen is a wonderful place. Were we have been allowed to develop into a outstanding seal hospital. Who would have thought 50 years ago that we would put this small village in Groningen on the map like this? We look at our history and development with great pride. But we also have to be realistic. Our work can unfortunately not continue in Pieterburen in a future-oriented way. The current facilities suffer from overdue maintenance. The building is so outdated that refurbishing it is too costly.

On top of that, broadening our work - to the seal and its habitat - no longer fits in the current visitor centre. There is so much to tell, but we don't have the space for it. On top of that, we don't just want to tell stories, we also want to involve you in everything we do. And that is impossible in our current building. It makes the construction of a new building necessary. And how nice is it, that it will be at the junction of the Wadden Sea and people, in the port of Lauwersoog?  

Grateful for you support

Over the past few years, we've had tremendous support from you in so many different ways. By visiting and telling your friends again, adopting your favourite seal, following us online or any of the many other ways. We are very grateful for that, because we cannot do our work without you. And the same goes for our work at the World Heritage Centre Wadden Sea. We have secured funding for the building with thanks to many parties. But the daily work, just like here, continues. We therefore hope that you are as excited about our future as we are, and that you will continue to support us, also in Lauwersoog. By stopping by when we open, becoming a donor or by subscribing to the World Heritage Centre Wadden Sea newsletter right now.

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