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What is Beachwatch?

MCS Adopt-a-Beach and MCS Beachwatch are coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment.

The annual MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend event takes place on the 3rd weekend of September every year and the data collected is used for the annual MCS Beachwatch report.

MCS Adopt-a-Beach extends the monitoring to 4 times a year, one of which can be the Beachwatch Big Weekend event.

Beachwatch Big Weekend 2010 is on the 18th and 19th September. Register now to take part.

See what Beachwatch beaches are in your area.


How You Can Help

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It's not just a drop in the ocean... person really can make a difference.

There is only one ocean; a worldwide continuous mass of water so big, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that one small act by one individual can make a huge difference to its recovery.  We can all do our bit to help the sea fight back.

10 easy ways to help the sea recover:

  1. Choose sustainable seafood - Visit our website for advice on how to buy fish from sustainable fisheries and avoid over-fished species from unsustainable and damaging fisheries. For use when you are out and about, why not download the MCS pocket Good Fish Guide. Alternatively, email to request a free hard copy, or to purchase the MCS Good Fish Guide book.  
  2. Watch out for wildlife -Email us at  to report your sightings of marine life to MCS, but keep your distance whether at sea or on shore. You can also become part of our Basking Shark Watch or Jellyfish Survey, and if you are a diver you can take part in Seasearch.
  3. Take only memories, leave only footprints - on holiday don't be tempted by souvenirs made from sea creatures unless you know they are a by-product of a local fishery.
  4. Take only photos. leave only bubbles - when diving or snorkeling never stand on the reef, kick up sand or hang on to coral heads which can take over 100 years to grow. Our Underwater Photographers Code of Conduct is packed full of handy hints and advice, just email to request a copy.
  5. Turn the tide on litter - rubbish pollutes our beaches and entangles marine life. Always put rubbish in a bin or take it home. If you are interested in joining your local Beachwatch event or adopting a beach visit 
  6. Think before you flush - all drains lead to the sea so don't flush cotton bud sticks, sanitary waste or toxic products down the toilet.
  7. Say no to packaging - avoid over-packaged goods and reuse your plastic bags.
  8. Reduce your carbon footprint and stop climate chaos - get on your bike, choose a fuel efficient car, use public transport and limit your international flights to reduce your carbon emissions.
  9. Think global, act local - buy British or even better, local produce, and reduce the air miles and emissions linked with your weekly shop. Where possible, buy organic and environmentally friendly products.
  10. Splash out - take part in our projects, become a supporter or make a donation and help MCS ensure the future for our seas. If you shop online at places like Amazon, Comet or John Lewis, then you can raise money for MCS without actually giving us a penny! See shop4mcs for more details.

What needs to be done?

We need to manage our relationship with the sea, in ways that allow the wealth of marine wildlife to thrive, now and for future generations. We must use this amazing resource wisely. For some species and some special places, we must take protective measures that may mean closing off areas from harmful use, to allow replenishment and recovery.

MCS in Action

MCS is working towards better management and protection of our marine wildlife. Through Your Seas Your Voice we invite you to support our campaign for the establishment of a network of marine reserves in UK seas.

Through Seasearch and our wildlife surveys, you can take part in recording, and finding out more about, our marine wildlife.

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