2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest Results

Thank you to all the photographers who shared their view of national marine sanctuaries with us! Click each photograph to see the full version.

Please note that we may use any of the photos we received for this contest 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 photographs submitted in this contest to promote sustainable and responsible activities in the National Marine Sanctuary System, as long as the photographer is credited. These photos are not for sale and are not for commercial use unless prior permission is arranged.

Sanctuary Views

See the beautiful scenery of the National Marine Sanctuary System through visitors' eyes.

Over under shot of the land and sea of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
1st Place: Bruce Sudweeks. A simultaneous view of the land and sea at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Surfgrass (Phyllospadix sp.) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) can be seen under the surface of the ocean.
Sun setting over bowling ball looking rocks along the coastline.
2nd Place: Martin McClure. Unique in the Northern Hemisphere, Bowling Ball Beach is a spectacular place to watch the sunset over Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
Sunset over a coastline of grasses and driftwood with seastacks in the distance.
3rd Place: Courtney Stanford. Sunset on La Push, in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.


Sanctuary Life

From tiny krill to enormous gray whales, thousands of species call the National Marine Sanctuary System home! This category depicts the amazing marine life that you can find in your national marine sanctuaries.

snorkelers are watching three turtles hover around a cleaning station.
1st Place: Douglas Hoffman. Beautiful green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) floating elegantly in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
After gobbling down a fish delivered by its mom, the young Elegant Tern is asking for more in the slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
2nd Place: Jean Zuo. Elegant tern (Sterna elegans) mother brought back a fish for her baby in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Two elephant seals fighting in the water
3rd Place: Douglas Croft. Big, but not big enough to compete for a harem of females, these young male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) take their frustrations out on each other in a tidal pool near Drake's Beach near Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.


Sanctuary Recreation

National marine sanctuaries provide an idyllic setting for a variety of recreational activities. This category celebrates the people who visit them.

Four kayakers are seen in the water near a cliffside, purple flowers decorate the edge of the clear water as birds fly overhead.
1st Place: Chuck Graham. Tranquil kayaking through Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
A kayaker stands next to a dead tree and kayak, looking up at an expansive sky filled with stars.
2nd Place: Daniel Eidsmoe. 'Milky Way Kayak' in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
An overview shot of an angler and a paddleboarder with a shipwreck under the crystal clear lake.
3rd Place: Bryan Dort. An angler and a stand-up paddleboarder over the shipwreck Albany in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


Sanctuaries at Home

While it's important to get outside, experience nature, and recreate responsibly, we know that many of us spent more time at home this year. Through art, stewardship activities from home, and responsible water-based recreation photographers shared how they connected with national marine sanctuaries from afar.

Boats on calm waters at sunset with sunset reflecting into the water.
1st Place: Laurie Santoro. Mill Pond in Chatham, MA at sunset.
A game of sunset catch at Jockey's Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
2nd Place: Tina Morrison. A game of sunset catch at Jockey's Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Child uses sea turtle toys and other toy instruments during play to learn to protect sea turtles.
3rd Place: Jenn Fletcher. Learning and play can go hand in hand. An aspiring marine biologist practices measuring and counting toy sea turtle hatchlings and "eggs" at home.


Sanctuaries Around the World

Ocean connection can happen anywhere, not just in the National Marine Sanctuary System. This category portrays special places across the globe where you feel connected to the ocean and marine life found within it.

Aggregation of pygmy devil rays swim together through the dark blue water.
1st Place: María Rodríguez-Salinas. Aggregation of pygmy devil rays (Mobula munkiana) in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
A whale shark is seen swimming through the water, surrounded by smaller silver fish.
2nd Place: Lawrence Alex Wu. "Behold the majestic whale shark (Rhincodon typus). While these magnificent creatures are endangered, we are privileged to witness their grace and beauty in the wild worldwide. Let's cherish every encounter as a reminder of our responsibility to protect and conserve their precious habitat."
A group of Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) penguins is seen jumping from ice into the water
3rd Place: Kayvon Malek. Gentoo penguins dive off a piece of ice into the frigid but extremely rich waters of the Antarctic Peninsula. This photo was taken in the Antarctic peninsula and features Pygoscelis papua.