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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

A personal visit is a great way to experience the beauty of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) and understand the need to protect this special place. Try your hand at kayaking, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, diving, whale watching or a stroll on one of the many beaches lining our sanctuary.

The 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.

MBNMS 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.

Monterey Bay Kayaks, Monterey


Join the “Responsible Wildlife Viewing Festival” at Monterey Bay Kayaks on Saturday, August 3rd. Whether going out on a rental, tour, or taking a class, you will have the opportunity to Get Into Your Sanctuary with trained kayak guides from Monterey Bay Kayaks. Visit booths from local organizations including MBNMS, Save Our Shores, Sea Otter Savvy, Save The Whales, Marine Life Studies, and California MPA Collaborative, who will be sharing knowledge on local wildlife and responsible viewing guidelines. Participate in the Del Monte Beach Clean Up at 1:00 p.m. and collect special prizes!

What: “Responsible Wildlife Viewing Festival”
When: Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, 9am – 4pm
Where: Monterey Bay Kayaks, 693 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA

Coastal Discovery Center, San Simeon


The Coastal Discovery Center will host fun, hands-on naturalist led activities for the whole family on Saturday, August 3rd. The Cambria Fishing Club will offer fishing lessons off the San Simeon Pier, local birding experts will lead seabird identification, and naturalists will offer plankton collection and viewing with microscopes at the Center. Please click here for directions.

What: “Get Into Your Sanctuary” Celebrations
When: Friday, August 3rd, 2019, 11am – 3pm
Where: Coastal Discovery Center, Hwy 1 & San Simeon SLO Road, San Simeon, CA

Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz


The Sanctuary Exploration Center will host "Fishy First Friday" on Friday, August 2nd, featuring local fish with fish printing, and will highlight fishing in the sanctuary. On August 3rd-4th, the Center will offer a pop-up Virtual Reality experience to go on a dive into the kelp forest, and a family-friendly scavenger hunt for learning where you can best experience local wildlife. Scavenger hunts prizes will be offered for kids! Please click here for directions.

What: “Fishy First Friday” and “Get Into Your Sanctuary” Celebrations
When: Friday, August 2,nd, 2019, 5pm – 8pm (First Fishy Friday)
Sat-Sun, August 3rd-4th, 2019, 10am – 5pm
Where: Sanctuary Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Street, Santa Cruz, CA

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 25th through September 2nd (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 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 25th, 2019).
  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: July 03, 2019
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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