Borderingonthe north sea, the Netherlands has 280 miles (451 kilometers) of coastline. The country is also located at the mouths of the Rhine, Maase, and Scheld Rivers. The temperate and marine climates result in cool summers and mild winters. The Netherlands is chiefly comprised of coastal lowlands and numerous polders—land that has been reclaimed from the sea—with some hilly sections in the southeast.

The process of land reclamation began in the 17th century when windmills were used to drain lakes in the north. In the southwest, land was built up over time as tides deposited sand and silt on the shore, allowing the Dutch to reclaim the land with dikes. Around Groningen and Friesland, the government built dams out into the sea to promote the accumulation ...

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