The Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization committed to enhancing public awareness and appreciation of historic shipwreck preservation and the science of maritime archeology. MAHS is governed by a board of directors and guided by an advisory committee of professional archeologists and historians. It is the first volunteer group to be extended associate membership on the Advisory Council for Underwater Archeology of the Society for Historical Archeology.
MAHS actively supports the documentation and preservation of our global maritime heritage and provides opportunities for members to serve, learn and develop skills in the fields of maritime history and archeology. Major activities of the society include:
- Participating in maritime archeological projects under professional supervision, assisting with historical research, mapping and surveying, photography, documentation, interpretation, artifact conservation and preservation, and project reporting.
- Supporting governmental organizations and academic institutions in areas of the society's interests, including advocating the protection of our submerged cultural resources, and initiating actions as appropriate.
- Publishing MAHSNEWS, a semi-annual compendium of articles, events, and information relating to nautical archeology and maritime history, for distribution to MAHS members, major maritime educators, museums, and historical societies.
- Conducting a basic training course in maritime archeology, an associated field school, and supplemental courses (e.g., conservation, photography), and sponsoring educational presentations.
- Developing a ten-session, videotape instructional course, Diving Into History: An Introduction to Underwater Archeology, for use by others interested in the field.
MAHS' membership includes both divers and non-divers, united in the goal of preserving our maritime heritage. Members come from all walks of life and include engineers, historians, educators, medical and diving professionals, archeologists, conservationists, cartographers, photographers, authors, and skilled tradespeople. While most members are graduates of MAHS' Basic Underwater Archeology Course, completion of that course or the related field school is not a membership requirement.