mor

2018 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest results

Below are the winners and entries for the Sanctuary Life category. Thank you to all those who participated! Click each photograph to see the full version.

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.

humpback whales lunge feeding
1st Place: Humpback whales feed on anchovies in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
brown pelican in flight
2nd Place: A brown pelican flies over Asilomar State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sam Bailey
goldentail moray eel under coral
3rd Place: A goldentail moray eel peeks out from under a blushing star coral in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Steve Miller

All submitted photos

sea lion
A young California sea lion plays with kelp in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
common dolphin
A common dolphin leaps out of the water in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sarah Raskin
common dolphin
A common dolphin leaps out of the water in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sarah Raskin
garibaldi
A territorial Garibaldi charges the camera in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
giant kelp
Pneumatocysts of giant kelp curl in the currents at Santa Barbara Island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Nathan Coy
young california sea lion
A young California sea lion plays with kelp in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
barracuda with a hook in its mouth
A discarded double hook dangles from the mouth of a barracuda in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
french angelfish
A French angelfish swims at Stetson Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jeff Guthrie
golden smooth trunkfish
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is one of the only places in the world to spot the golden smooth trunkfish. Photo: Steve Miller
green moray eel
A green moray eel rests at Stetson Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jeff Guthrie
lionfish
An invasive lionfish swims at East Flower Garden Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
lionfish
An invasive lionfish swims at East Flower Garden Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
manta ray silhoutted by sun
A manta ray swims overhead in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
manta ray with remoras attached
A manta ray – with two remoras attached – swims over the reef at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
moray eel
A moray eel pokes its head out from the coral in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: John Hearrell
red lizardfish
A red lizardfish rests above the reef in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Steve Miller
red-spotted hawksfish
A red-spotted hawksfish swims near at long-spined urchin in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Steve Miller
rock beauty and green chromis
A rock beauty and green chromis swim over a bright sponge in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jeff Guthrie
spotted moray eel and scarlet cleaner shrimp
A spotted moray eel and scarlet cleaner shrimp look out from the reef in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Steve Miller
spotted moray eel and two-spot cardinal fish
An entourage of two-spot cardinal fish swim near a spotted moray eel in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
spotted scorpionfish
A spotted scorpionfish rests on a sponge in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Steve Miller
invertebrates growing on old rig structure
Tube sponges and other invertebrates grow on an old rig structure in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jeff Guthrie
atlantic spadefish
Atlantic spadefish swim above the reef at Horseshoe Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
atlantic spadefish
Atlantic spadefish aggregate at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
balloonfish
A balloonfish peers at the camera at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
caribbean reef shark
A Caribbean reef shark swims over sandy rubble at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
city of washington shipwreck
The wreck of City of Washington at Elbow Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary provides structure that attracts an abundance and variety of fish. Photo: Daryl Duda
foureye butterflyfish
Two foureye butterflyfish swim in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
great barracuda
A great barracuda swims over stands of endangered elkhorn coral at Horseshoe Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
green sea turtle
A green sea turtle gives itself a belly rub on soft coral at the wreck of Benwood in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
juvenile grunts
A school of juvenile grunts rises toward the surface in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
hawksbill sea turtle
A hawksbill sea turtle swims past a large barrel sponge at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
grouper and minnows in minnow cave
Groupers hide in Minnow Cave in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
moon jelly
A moon jelly drifts in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Katy Danca Galli
moon jelly
A moon jelly drifts in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Katy Danca Galli
queen angelfish
A queen angelfish swims at French Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
squid
A squid hovers below the ocean surface at night in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
sea fans
Sea fans and other invertebrates grow at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
sea fans
Sea fans grow at French Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
sea fans
Sea fans and other invertebrates grow at French Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
sea fans
Sea fans and other invertebrates grow at French Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bess Bright
fish at snapper ledge
Grunts and snappers aggregate at Snapper Ledge in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
fish at snapper ledge
Grunts and snappers aggregate at Snapper Ledge in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
spanish hogfish
Spanish hogfish swim together at Molasses Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Daryl Duda
tarpon inhaling a baitfish
A tarpon gulps up a baitfish in Islamorada, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
trumpetfish
A trumpetfish peeks out from behind fire coral in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Beata Lerman
stingray resting on seafloor
A stingray rests in the nearshore waters of Florida Bay in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Alexander Neufeld
common murre
A common murre floats on the surface in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Patrick Sysiong
common murres
Common murres and a pigeon guillemot float on the surface in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Patrick Sysiong
common murres
Common murres float on the surface in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Ioana Seritan
common murres
Seabirds cover the slopes of the Farallon Islands in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Ioana Seritan
tufted puffin
A tufted puffin swims in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Patrick Sysiong
hawaiian monk seal by road
A Hawaiian monk seal rests along a road near Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Doug Boyd
mackerel scad
`Ōpelu, or mackerel scad, school in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Chad Wiggins
surgeonfish
Two years after a community-driven effort to protect the reef, surgeonfish swim at Ka`ūpūlehu in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Chad Wiggins
black oystercatcher
A black oystercatcher walks along the shoreline in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jenni Peters
blue rockfish in kelp forest
Blue rockfish hang out under a kelp canopy in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
blue rockfish in kelp forest
Blue rockfish hang out under a kelp canopy in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
blue rockfish in kelp forest
Blue rockfish hang out under a kelp canopy in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
brown pelican
A brown pelican opens its beak at San Simeon State Park, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Phil Arnold
brown pelican, harbor seals, other animals
Brown pelican, harbor seals, and other animals gather along Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
bull california sea lion
A bull California sea lion takes an inquisitive pass in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
double-crested cormorant
A double-crested cormorant skims the water of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary during take-off. Photo: Richard Formica
egg yolk jelly
An egg yolk jelly pulses through the kelp forest at Monstery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
egg yolk jelly
An egg yolk jelly pulses through the water at Monstery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
egg yolk jelly
An egg yolk jelly pulses through the water at Monstery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
gray whale and calf
A gray whale leads her calf through the kelp forests of Big Sur in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary as they migrate north from Baja California to Alaska. Photo: Douglas Croft
gray whale and calf
A gray whale leads her calf through the kelp forests of Big Sur in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary as they migrate north from Baja California to Alaska. Photo: Douglas Croft
great egret
A great egret snatches an anchovy from the waters of Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
gull feeding
A gull plucks its breakfast from the sea in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Phil Arnold
harbor seal on rock
A harbor seal lazes on a rock in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mary Bruzzese
harbor seal mother and pup
A mother and pup harbor seal nuzzle one another at Fitzgeral Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Clarice Soleil
harbor seal mother and pup
A harbor seal mother and pup rest on the beach at Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Vicki Sarris
harbor seal mother and pup
A harbor seal mother gazes at her pup at Lovers Point State Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Hanna McWethy
harbor seal mom and pup
A harbor seal mother and pup snooze together at Lovers Point State Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Hanna McWethy
harbor seal pup
An inquisitive harbor seal pup swims in the shallows in Moss Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Rob Cala
harbor seals hauled out
A group of harbor seals enjoy the sunny shores of Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Vicki Sarris
young harbor seal
A curious harbor seal peeks out of the waves at Moss Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Clarice Soleil
heerman's gull
A Heermann's gull poses in front of the turquoise waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Richard Formica
hermissenda nudibranch
A Hermissenda nudibranch roves a tide pool in Half Moon Bay in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Clarice Soleil
hermissenda nudibranchs
A pair of Hermissenda nudibranchs meet face to face in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
opalescent nudibranch
An opalescent nudibranch emerges from the algae in a tidepool at Moss Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Arial Bauman
great blue heron
A great blue heron looks pensive as it's reflected in the waters of Roberts Lake, near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
humpback whale lunge feeding
A humpback whale captures a huge mouthful of food from the waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, while sea lions and seabirds dive in to join the feast. Photo: Ellen Roland
humpback whales lunge feeding
A trio of humpback whales in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary team up to corral krill and fish before lunging through the water to scoop them up. Photo: Ellen Roland
humpback whales lunge feeding
Three humpback whales break through the surface while lunge feeding on a school of northern anchovies in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Patrick Sysiong
juvenile california sea lion
This young California sea lion was taking part in a mass merging of sea lion colonies at Moss Landing in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the start of mating season. Photo: Brett M. Frager
juvenile elephant seals sparring
A pair of juvenile northern elephant seals test their battle skills by sparring at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Phil Arnold
leatherback sea turtle
An endangered leatherback sea turtle slurps up a brown sea nettle in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
long-billed curlew
A long-billed curlew forages on the sandy shore of Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Richard Formica
long-billed curlew and marbled godwits
Long-billed curlews, marbled godwits, and other seabirds forage along the shore of Marina Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Vicki Sarris
lunge-feeding humpback whale
A humpback whale pops out of the water as it lunge feeds in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Gordon J. Gates
humpback whales lunge-feeding
A group of humpback whales splashes through the surface while lunge feeding in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Gordon J. Gates
marine animals feeding on fish
A large school of small fish signals the dinner bell for seabirds and humpback whales at Marina State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
mcdonald's dorid
A brilliantly-colored McDonald’s dorid feeds on bryozoan invertebrates in the tidepools of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Arial Bauman
metridium anemone
A lone metridium anemone seems to glow 50 feet below the surface in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Nathan Coy
moon jelly
A moon jelly drifts through Whaler's Cove in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
newborn harbor seal
This harbor seal pup is only a few hours old and is taking in its new world at Lovers Point State Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Hanna McWethy
newborn harbor seal
A newborn harbor seal pup gains its strength on the beach of Lovers Point State Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Hanna McWethy
newborn harbor seal
This newborn harbor seal is tuckered out after its first day in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Hanna McWethy
pacific white-sided dolphin
A Pacific white-sided dolphin launches into acrobatic backflips in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
reef at monastery beach
A kaleidoscope of creatures covers a reef at Monastery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
reef
Strawberry anemones blush and brighten a reef at Mono Lobo Wall in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
risso's dolphin
A Risso's dolphin surfaces in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Allison Formica
risso's dolphin
A Risso's dolphin leaps through the water in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
risso's dolphin
A Risso's dolphin breaks through the surface to grab a breath in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctaury. Photo: Gordon J. Gates
risso's dolphin
A Risso's dolphin displays amazing acrobatics in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Patrick Sysiong
sandpiper
A sandpiper searches for food at Twin Lakes State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jenni Peters
jellyfish
A Scrippsea pacifica jelly drifts along the edge of the kelp forest at Monastery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
sea clown nudibranch
A jolly-looking sea clown nudibranch peeps out of a tidepool in Half Moon Bay in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Arial Bauman
sea lion in kelp
A sea lion relaxes in the kelp in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mary Bruzzese
sea lions
A group of sea lions idle above the kelp in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mary Bruzzese
sea lions
A colony of sea lions crowd a rocky shoreline in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary against a backdrop of highways and farmland. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
sea lions
Sea lions hang out fins-up in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mary Bruzzese
sea otter
A southern sea otter shakes it off after a grooming session in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jenni Peters
sea otter
A southern sea otter seems to be grinning happily after grooming at Moss Landing State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jenni Peters
sea otter and elephant seal
A southern sea otter is dwarfed by the giant head of a northern elephant seal popping up from the kelp in San Simeon State Park in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Phil Arnold
sea otter mother and pup
A mother sea otter cuddles her pup in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Douglas Croft
sheep crab and sea star
A sheep crab stands over a sea star at Monastery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Alyono
snowy egret
A snowy egret pauses from grooming to fluff its feathers at Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
snowy egret
A snowy egret silently paces along the edge of a mussel bed in Santa Cruz in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dan Killam
snowy plover
A snowy plover scans the dunes of Carmel River State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Allison Formica
sea otter
A southern sea otter relaxes in the waters of Morro Bay near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sam Greenstone
southern sea otter
This southern sea otter is looking sly at Morro Bay near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sam Greenstone
sea otter
A southern sea otter floats at Morro Bay near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sam Greenstone
sea otter
A southern sea otter clutches a strand of kelp near Morro Bay near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sam Greenstone
sea otter eating crab
A southern sea otter chows down on a crab in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jenni Peters
sunburst anemone
A sunburst anemone looks like a flower blooming beneath the waves in Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Clarice Soleil
thetys vagina salp
A Thetys vagina salp chain drifts along the edge of a kelp forest off Big Sur in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
velella velella
A Velella velella, or by-the-wind sailor, is washed up on algae in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Arial Bauman
white dendronotus nudibranch
A white dendronotus nudibranch crawls along a tide pool at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Arial Bauman
yellowfin fringehead
A yellowfin fringehead peeks its head out of a crack in the rocks at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Nathan Coy
jellyfish
Many tiny larvae lie in a jelly's cap in the black waters of the Gulf Stream near Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Gian D' Andrea
brown noddies
Several brown noddies swoop above the coast of Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
brown noddy
A solitary brown noddy skims the cloudy horizon above Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
eel
An eel relocates between rocks in Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
surgeonfish school
A school of surgeonfish swims through the reef at Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
surgeonfish school
A school of surgeonfish clusters together at Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
green sea turtle
A green sea turtle glides gracefully along the sandy bottom of Fagatale Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Photo: David Herdrich
snowy egret
A snowy egret explores the shoreline during a low tide in Pismo Beach, California. Photo: Allison Formica
atlantic white-sided dolphins
A pair of Atlantic white-sided dolphins travel through the glassy ocean in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
atlantic white-sided dolphins
A pair of Atlantic white-sided dolphins glide along the surface of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
atlantic white-sided dolphins
A pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins skim just below the surface of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
atlantic white-sided dolphins
A pair of Atlantic white-sided dolphins show their stripes as they ride the bow of a whale-watching vessel. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
birds and humpback whales
Seabirds and humpback whales feed together in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
humpback whale
A humpback whale surfaces in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
humpback whale surfacing
A humpback whale crests through the sunny surface of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
humpback whale tail
Nile, a humpback whale, flips her fluke from the water at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
humpback whale tail
A humpback whale known as Pixar lifts its fluke from the water at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mackenzie Meier
humpback whale surfacing
A humpback whale surfaces in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary with a misty sigh. Photo: Mackenzie Meier

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.