The North-East Polder is a municipality in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands.
The history of this specific ‘polder’ goes back to 1918 when the Dutch government decided to reclaim this part of the Zuiderzee (Dutch for Southern Sea).
On 14 June 1918, the Zuiderzee Act, which provided for the enclosure of the Zuiderzee and the reclamation of the land, was passed in Parliament.
A government agency called the Zuiderzee Project Department was established on 1 May 1919. The following year, work began on a dike that would run from North Holland to the island of Wieringen. After the dike's completion, the project came to a temporary standstill. Despite its economic problems, the government decided to forge ahead with the Zuiderzee Project. The civil engineers involved took particular pride in building the IJsselmeer Dam, which would enclose the Zuiderzee and thus create the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel).
In 1930, the Wieringermeer Polder was the first tract of land to be reclaimed from the sea; the first of five planned polders. Two years later, the IJsselmeer Dam was completed, and the Zuiderzee ceased to be.
The North-East Polder was the first polder to be reclaimed from the new lake IJssel. The location of the dike was decided on. On 3 October 1939, the mayors of the villages of Urk and Lemsterland could shake hands upon completion of a major stretch of dike. As a result, the famous fishing island of Urk was no longer a real island. This was a highly emotional moment for the local population.
Between 1937 - 1942 the North-East Polder was drained by means of three pumping stations (Buma (1940) near Lemmer, Vissering (1942) near Urk, Smeenge (1941) near Voorst). The former island of Urk has been included in the dike system; the former island of Schokland is now part of the southern section of the new polder land.
In World War II, work on the Zuiderzee Project slowed down. But by 1940, the dike had reached the province of Overijssel, and in September the land had been drained. Thousands of workers were deployed to make it suitable for agriculture. During the war, the Dutch authorities used a great number of people to cultivate the polder land, thereby ensuring that this workforce could not be used in the Nazi war industry. After the war, the IJsselmeer Polders Department began distributing the land, and the first residential areas were built.
Today the municipality of the North-East Polder includes the vilages Bant, Creil, Ens, Espel, Kraggenburg, Luttelgeest, Marknesse, Nagele, Rutten, and Tollebeek with the city Emmeloord at its heart. On the 9th of July 2008 the former island of Schokland received its official status of 11th village of the North-East Polder.