Traditionally, there have always been socio-cultural relations between coast dwellers and offshore activities. Generations of fishermen have shaped the culture of local coastal communities. More recently, the recreation sector has made a significant impression.
Our perception of the sea plays a important role. In term of its cultural heritage, the sea as a whole contributes to the identity of the Netherlands. This heritage is also found further inland in museums and in and on historical buildings in Amsterdam and Groningen, for example.