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Natura 2000, the water framework directive and programmes for water and nature

Work is being done at EU level to protect the aquatic environment and a number of species and natural habitats, which are characteristic or rare at European level. Through the EU water framework directive, habitats directive and the bird protection ­directive, Denmark has committed to work to protect and conserve the aquatic environment and natural assets. Therefore, a number of Natura 2000 areas have been designated, that hold particularly large or important areas of natural habitats or habitats for endangered species.

Both the Kongeå and Wadden Sea are designated as Natura2000 areas, because the area holds many natural habitats and plant and animal species that are endangered, vulnerable or rare in Europe. A Natura2000 plan has been drafted for all Natura 2000 areas, containing a series of broad guidelines for future conservation of species and habitats. The aquatic environment of the Wadden Sea is affected by the water quality in the many water courses  which drains into the area, including the Kongeå River, as well as by  the human-related activities in coastal areas. The water programme for the Wadden Sea encompasses a number of the rivers, streams and lakes that are located in the Wadden Sea water basin. The plan contains objectives and a plan of action to protect the aquatic environment against degradation.