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The dictionary definition of Polders indicates lowlands, typically reclaimed from the sea through drainage and protected by dikes. The most extensive region of polders in Europe is in the Netherlands, and indeed the word "polder" is of dutch origin.

West Flanders is very similar in its terrestrial character to the Netherlands. Much of it is made up of reclaimed land protected by dikes, and it is this region that is referred to as The Polders of Belgium. The land is fertile and an area of intense agricultural activity. Like the polders in the Netherlands, the sea yearns to reclaim the territory for itself. Catastrophic floods inundated the area in 1953, due to North Sea storms that overwhelmed the dikes. In 1915, the area near Nieuwpoort was intentionally flooded to stop the advance of the German army.