The German part of the core area is the Nationalpark Unteres Odertal (Lower Oder Valley National Park). There is an information centre at Criewen. The Polish part of the core area is the Park Krajobrazowy Dolina Dolnej Odry (Lower Odra Valley Landscape Park).
The area comprises 165 km2 (64 sq mi) (Germany 105 km2 (41 sq mi), Poland 60 km2 (23 sq mi)); together with adjoining nature reserves in Germany and Poland the total area is 1,172 km2 (453 sq mi). By decision of the German-Polish Environmental Council in 1992 the German, Polish and Brandenburg environment ministers as well as the voivode of Szczecin created the Lower Oder Valley International Park.
The flat western shore of the Oder features several levees, which in order to control the water level and to prevent highfloods are regularly opened in winter and spring. The water flows freely into extensive floodplains covered until April when the dikes are closed again and the remaining water is drained.