Originally (in the 16th century), Rottumeroog lay where Rottumerplaat now lies. It then was called simply Rottum and was nine to ten kilometers long. Rottumeroog now is around 250 hectare. The island was continually crumbling away and one expected it to eventually disappear into the Western Ems. Mostly for the sake of the nature on the island, volunteers have stretched the erosion process as long as possible with the help of dams made from debris, reed screens and the planting of marram grass. Since 2002, Rottummeroog has no longer shrunk but has actually grown. A protective sand bank has even formed around the island
Closed to human activities
The wadden region south of Rottumeroog and Rottumerplaat is a closed area for the shellfish fisheries. Even the NAM (Dutch Oil and Gas company) is not allowed to perform any definite activities here; exploitation of gas supplies in the neighbourhood of the islands must take place in the North Sea.