The watch was developed with Bernard Baerends, the executive secretary and head of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, a Netherlands-based organization. Baerends has spent his career looking after the Wadden Sea; conservation efforts are a joint mission that Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands all take part in. The Wadden Sea tidal flats are home to 10,000 species and an important stopover for roughly 10 to 12 million migratory birds a year. But the area is under threat from port construction, dredging, mining, pollution of shipping byproduct, and the introduction of invasive species from foreign ships draining their ballast tanks.