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Sixth Annual Get Into Your Sanctuary Celebration
August 2nd – 4th, 2019

waves break along Asilomar State Beach in MBNMS2018 2nd Place, Sanctuary Views: Sam Bailey Waves Break Along Asilomar State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a remarkably productive marine environment, fringed by spectacular coastal scenery, including sand dunes, rocky cliffs, kelp forests and tide pools. A personal visit is a great way to experience the beauty of the sanctuary and understand the need to protect this special place. Try your hand at kayaking, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, diving or whale watching to name a few! Join us on Facebook and Twitter in highlighting the types of recreational activities that can be enjoyed in the sanctuary by visitors, along with tips for practicing proper ocean etiquette when interacting with wildlife.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary will be hosting "Get into Your Sanctuary" activities the weekend of August 2nd – 4th, 2019. This National Marine Sanctuary System-wide event will also raise awareness about the value of our sanctuaries as iconic destinations for responsible recreation through a series of free activities open to the public.

Coastal Discovery Center, San Simeon




Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz



get in your sanctuary photo contest header image

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 Memorial Day (May 27th) through Labor Day (September 2nd), 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. Please click on the year to view the winners of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 contests.

Remember to practice good Ocean Etiquette when taking your photos!

Photo Categories

Photos will be accepted from May 27th through September 2nd 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 Portraits: 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.

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

  1. Photographers must be at least 13 years of age or older as of the first day of the contest (May 19th, 2018(.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Photos that are submitted without information on the photographer and a brief caption will not be considered.
  6. No watermarks on submitted photos.
  7. Photos should be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide (but the bigger, the better!).
  8. Please limit the total number of your photo submissions to 10 entries.

Ready to Submit Your Photos?

Send them to!

URL:    Reviewed: March 22, 2019
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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