2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest
May 26, 2023 through September 4, 2023 (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend)
Welcome all photographers, regardless of skill level or experience, to participate in the 2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest. We will be accepting submissions in the following categories:
- Sanctuary Views: Share your photos of beautiful sunsets or scenic shots of your favorite national marine sanctuary.
- Sanctuary Life: Send us your best photos of sanctuary inhabitants like fish, birds, marine mammals, and other amazing ocean creatures.
- Sanctuary Recreation: Enter your best images of people responsibly enjoying national marine sanctuaries, whether they’re boating, kayaking, diving, swimming, or just hanging out on the beach.
- Sanctuaries at Home: Show us how you’re connecting to your National Marine Sanctuary System from home! Submissions to this category must follow the guidance of Sanctuary Recreation, Sanctuary Life, and Sanctuary Views but can also include photos of stewardship activities from your home or neighborhood, or sanctuary-related artwork (paintings, drawings, etc.).
- Sanctuaries Around the World: Ocean connection can happen anywhere, not just in the National Marine Sanctuary System. Following the guidance of Sanctuary Recreation, Sanctuary Life, and Sanctuary Views, show us where you connect to the ocean by submitting your photos, from anywhere in the world, to the “Sanctuaries Around the World” category of our photo contest. Submissions to this category can include photos taken in the United States, but outside of a national marine sanctuary, as well as photos taken outside of the United States. We recommend that these images consist of photos taken in the wild of marine life or bodies of water close to you. Submissions of photos from zoos, aquariums, or other indoor establishments are not encouraged.
How to Enter
Submit your photos from Friday, May 26, 2023 until Monday, September 4, 2023 by completing this Google Form.
Each photographer may submit up to 10 photos (minimum of 1200 pixels on long edge). All images MUST include the following information: photographer's name, short description of when and where the photo was taken, and what is shown in the photo. Please include the species names of animals if known.
Remember to practice responsible recreation when taking your photos. When photographing marine mammals and other protected species, always follow wildlife viewing guidelines to ensure that you are not disturbing these animals. Help us highlight wildlife photography best practices by indicating what kind of camera/lens you used and the approximate distance from which you took the photo. Animals need plenty of space to stay healthy and safe, so let's share our collective knowledge of responsible photography!
Thank you for participating and we are excited to review your submissions!
Please make sure to review the contest rules below.
For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit Your Photos!
Additional Contest Rules
- By submitting a photo, you agree to all rules of the Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest.
- Photographers must be at least 13 years of age or older as of the first day of the contest (May 26, 2023).
- We will assume that, in submitting a photo, you are the owner of the photo and have the right to publish it (including permission/model release for anyone identifiably pictured).
- By submitting a photo, you are giving us permission to use the photo for other purposes, such as on our website, on social media, and in other NOAA and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation publications. We will provide credit to photographers whenever we use any of the photos. Organizations other than NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation may use the photographs submitted in this contest to promote sustainable and responsible activities such as recreation within the National Marine Sanctuary System. These photos are not for sale and are not for commercial use unless prior permission is arranged.
- Only photos taken while in compliance with wildlife viewing regulations and government approach regulations will be considered. Do not harass animals just to get the "perfect" shot!
- Follow all social distancing guidelines and closures recommended by the CDC and your state and local guidance.
- Submitted photos without information on the photographer and a brief caption will not be considered.
- No watermarks on submitted photos.
- Photos should be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide (but the bigger, the better!).
- Please limit the total number of your photo submissions to 10 entries.
- Only one form per person needs to be submitted for all entries. If you cannot submit via the form, send all information and photos to email@example.com.
Help Us Spread the Word!
Tell your friends about the contest on social media. Please use #GetIntoYourSanctuary and #RecreateResponsibly.
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest Winners
In celebration of national Get Into Your Sanctuary activities, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries holds a photo contest annually from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
Winning photos will be featured in next year's Earth Is Blue social media campaign.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest! To view the winners of this year's and previous photo contests, click on the images below.
2022 1st Place Sanctuary Views: Leighton Lum. Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) at sunset on Maui's west coast.
2022 1st Place Sanctuary Life: Daryl Duda. Flamingo tongue snail (Cyphoma gibbosum) on a sea rod with a diver in the background at Elbow Reef off Key Largo in Florida Keys National Sanctuary.
2022 1st Place, Sanctuary Recreation: Dustin Harris. Paddlers near Scorpion Anchorage, in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, explore sea caves and rock gardens. Kayaking allows for visitors to the Sanctuary and National Park to get up-close and personal with all of the unique ecosystems and features that inspired this area to be protected.
2021 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: James Moskito. Arch Rock South East Farallon in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
2021 1st Place, Sanctuary Life: Yvonne P Wright. Western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) at Seaside State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
2021 1st Place, Sanctuary Recreation: Anna Baker Mikkelsen. Catching a large swell at Sandy’s Beach in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
2020 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: Jon Anderson. Sunbeams penetrate the canopy of a kelp forest in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary as blue blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) congregate beneath.
2020 1st Place, Sanctuary Life: Jon Anderson. A yellowfin fringehead (Neoclinus stephensae) peeks out from behind a red-rust bryozoan (Watersipora subtorquata) in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
2020 1st Place, Sanctuary Recreation: Bruce Sudweeks. Catching a wave in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
2019 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: Tiffany Duong. Molasses Reef, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Tiffany Duong
2019 1st Place, Sanctuary Life: Bruce Sudweeks. Schools of fish swirl around the wreck of an old tugboat near Cape Lookout, North Carolina.
2018 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: Donna Hendricks. Inspiration Point on Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
2018 1st Place, Sanctuary Life: Douglas Croft. Humpback whales feed on anchovies in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
2017 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: Michael Beattie. The Point Arena Lighthouse, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
2017 1st Place, Sanctuary Life: Curtis Wee. A bloom of sea nettles drifts through Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
2016 1st Place, Sanctuary Views: Jason Jaskowiak. A foaga site on Tutuila Island, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. The basins in this volcanic rock have been worn over the years by people making stone tools.
2016 1st Place Sanctuary Life: Christina Parsons. This young Brandt's cormorant was photographed preening on the rocks on the Coast Guard Pier/Breakwater in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.