Land-based total nitrogen (N) loadings to Danish coastal waters have been markedly reduced since 2000. This has been achieved by general measures reducing discharges from all point sources and N leaching from farmed land supplemented with more local and targeted mitigation measures such as restoration of wetlands to increase the catchment-specific N retention. In the catchment of River Odense, restoration of wetlands has been extensive. Thus, in the major gauged catchment (485 km2) eleven wetlands (860 ha) have been restored since 2000. A comparison of data on N concentrations and loss from a gauging station in the River Odense with data from a control catchment (772 km2), in which a significantly less intensive wetland restoration programme has been undertaken, showed an excess downward trend in N, amounting to 124 t N yr−1, which can be ascribed to the intensive wetland restoration programme carried out in the River Odense catchment. In total, the N load in the River Odense has been reduced by 377 t N yr−1 (39%) since 2000. The observed downward trend is supported by monitoring data from two wetlands restored in 2001 and 2004 in the River Odense catchment.