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Fifth Annual Get Into Your Sanctuary Celebration
August 4th, 2018

image of a surfer contemplating the swell at Lighthouse Point in MBNMS2017 1st Place, Sanctuary Portraits: Douglas Croft A surfer contemplates the swell at Lighthouse Point 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 is hosting "Get into Your Sanctuary" day on August 4th, 2018. This National Marine Sanctuary System-wide event will raise awareness about the value of our sanctuaries as iconic destinations for responsible recreation through a series of free activities open to the public.

We have events planned at both our visitor centers, so get out there and Get Into Your Sanctuary!!

Coastal Discovery Center, San Simeon


Join sanctuary staff for free public presentations and interactive activities to highlight the sanctuary’s wildlife. Please click here for directions.

  • 10-10:45am: Whales of the Central Coast presentation
  • 11-11:45am: Pier plankton collection and viewing
  • 1-1:45pm: Shore whaling history in San Simeon Cove presentation

Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz


Try out recreation equipment and pick up informational resources for how to "Get In" to the sanctuary. This will include info on surfing, kayaking, SCUBA diving,and SUPing (Stand Up Paddle Boarding). Join sanctuary staff for presentations on proper ocean etiquette when interacting with wildlife on the water in a safe and responsible way. Please click here for directions.

  • 10am-3pm: Ocean recreation equipment demos
  • 11am-2pm: Ocean etiquette presentations

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 May 19th to August 15th, 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 good ocean etiquette when taking your photos!

Photo Categories

Photos will be accepted from May 19th to August 15th 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!

Help us spread the word!

Tell your friends about the contest. Download the factsheet here.

URL:    Reviewed: November 20, 2017
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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