Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest 2019

This contest helps raise awareness about marine sanctuaries in a fun and informative way.
Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest 2019
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Courtesy Kate Thompson, NOAA

Editor’s Note: NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, responsible for protecting waters through marine sanctuaries, sponsors the, ” Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest 2019.” Now in its 5th year, this contest helps raise awareness about marine sanctuaries in a fun and informative way. Contrary to popular misconception, marine sanctuaries are not, “hands off,” regions, but rather places where all kinds of activities including fishing, diving and boating are encouraged. Check out this photo contest, learn more about marine sanctuaries, and help spread the word about what marine sanctuaries are all about.

Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

Show the world what the ocean and Great Lakes mean to you.

In celebration of national Get Into Your Sanctuary events, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is hosting a photo contest. From May 25 through September 2 (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend), send us your best photos of the National Marine Sanctuary System and help us celebrate the beauty and importance of these special places.


Winning photos will be featured in next year’s Earth Is Blue Magazine and on the Earth Is Blue social media campaign.

Remember to practice responsible recreation when taking your photos!

Whalewatching at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Whalewatching at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Courtesy NOAA

Photo Categories
Photos will be accepted May 25 through September 2 (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend) 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 enjoying national marine sanctuaries, whether they’re boating, kayaking, diving, swimming, conducting research, or just hanging out on the beach.


How to Enter
Submit your images (minimum of 1200 pixels wide, no more than 10) to us at 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. If you would like us to tag you on Instagram if we share your photo there, please include your Instagram handle as well.

For photos of protected species like marine mammals, help us highlight wildlife photography best practices, and indicate 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!

Additional Contest Rules

  • Photographers must be at least 13 years of age or older as of the first day of the contest (May 25, 2019).

  • 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, of course, provide credit to photographers whenever we use any of the photos. Organizations other than NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation may use photographs submitted in this contest to promote sustainable and responsible recreation in 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!

  • Photos that are submitted 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.

Ready to Submit Your Photos?
Send them to!