© Natasha Ewins

Our Story

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) grew from the hard work and forward-thinking of a great number of people, many of whom still actively support us today.

© Jakob Owens

There was a growing awareness about the state of our seas in the early 1970s, especially amongst scientists and SCUBA divers, who devised Underwater Conservation Year 1977. This event was especially championed by the late Bernard Eaton, together with eminent scientists and public figures including HRH The Prince of Wales, who continues his unwavering support for MCS as our President today. The event gave momentum to form the Underwater Conservation Society, with a single paid project officer (firstly Dr Charles Sheppard then, for many years, Dr Bob Earll). The name “Marine Conservation Society” was officially adopted and registered with the Charity Commission in 1983.

Since that time, MCS has achieved major successes in protecting special wildlife, tackling sewage problems, helping the seafood-buying public, and influencing Government and industry.

Today, more than 6,000 supporters fund our work through membership, donations, and turtle adoption schemes.

And more than 10,000 MCS volunteers clean up our beaches each year, and help us tackle marine litter at source.

Many millions of people are now aware of our vital work through our sustainable seafood, pollution and wildlife programmes, wildlife recording surveys, campaigns and education work.

Actions you can take

  1. Take part in our latest campaigns
  2. Read our annual reports and reviews

Did you know?…

MCS launched its Sea Champion volunteer programme in 2012 thanks to funding from M&S

Today, more than 10,500 supporters fund our work through membership, donations, and adoption schemes

MCS started in 1983 in a garden shed in Herefordshire