Ems River

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The Ems (German: Ems; Dutch: Eems) is a river in northwestern Germany and the northeastern Netherlands. It runs through the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony it parallels the state border between the Lower Saxon area of East Friesland (Germany) and the province of Groningen (Netherlands), on the German side of the border. Its total length is 371 km.

Contents

River course

The source of the river is in the southern Teutoburg Forest in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Lower Saxony the brook becomes a comparatively large river. Here the swampy region of Emsland is named after the river. In Meppen the Ems is joined by its largest tributary, the Hase river. It then flows northwards, close to the Dutch border, into East Frisia. Near Emden it flows into the Dutch Dollard bay (a national park) and then continues as a tidal river towards the Dutch city of Delfzijl.

Between Emden and Delfzijl, the Ems forms the border between the Netherlands and Germany and is subject to mild dispute: the Dutch believe that the border runs through the geographical center of the estuary, whereas the Germans claim it runs through the deepest channel (which is close to the Dutch coast). As the parties are friendly states with an open border, the argument goes no further than an agreement to disagree.

Past Delfzijl, the Ems discharges into the Wadden Sea, part of the North Sea. The two straits that separate the German island of Borkum from its neighbours Rottumeroog (Netherlands) and Memmert (Germany) continue the name "Ems", as they are called Westere(e)ms and Osterems (West and East Ems).

Tourism

The Ems is accompanied and crossed by different long-distance bicycle routes:

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