Since 1901 the island has been linked to the island of Rügen by a 250-metre-long bridge. The largest settlement on the island is the parish village of Waase; other villages are Haide, Markow, Suhrendorf, Freesenort, Tankow and Wusse. Together with several villages on Rügen itself it forms the municipality of Ummanz.
From 1341 the island was owned by the Heiliggeisthospital at Stralsund. As a result, Stralsund's citizens exercised lordship over the island for centuries on behalf of the church foundation.