2020 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest results

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

Sanctuary Recreation

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

child surfing
1st Place: Bruce Sudweeks. Skyla catches a wave in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
Artist on a grassy hill painting a lighthouse
2nd Place: Christina Ford. An artist takes in the views of Lighthouse State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary while oil painting.
shark over a wreck
3rd Place: Bruce Sudweeks. A curious sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) investigates a diver in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

All submitted photos

Kayakers behind seals
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) rest on a sandbar as nearby kayakers and boaters explore the Elkhorn Slough on the edge of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Jon Anderson
Kayaker on the water looking at arch
A kayaker enjoys clear waters and calm conditions near a sea arch on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris
Surfers call it a day at Pacific Grove’s Asilomar Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Meg McWhinney
Two kayakers entering a cave
Two kayakers paddle into a small sea cave on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris
Kayakers under arch
Helmets and PFDs on, kayakers make ready to navigate through the rocks and craggy archway northwest of Pelican Bay in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Chuck Graham
Kayak under arch
“This shot was taken from my kayak on the northside of Santa Cruz Island, in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Along with Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island is honeycombed with toothy sea caves.” Photo: Chuck Graham
From the kayakers view, on the ocean
“I’m paddling between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with solar panel resting on top of a dry bag.” Photo: Chuck Graham
Diver over a bank
A diver watches a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) head to the surface for a breath of air in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Stan Schone
Black and white, divers over a bank
Divers explore the unique geological formations of the Stetson Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Stan Schone
Kid flipping hair in large bin of water
“Social distancing means the dive shop is closed so the owners and kid are going out solo. After a trip out to snorkel in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, sometimes the most fun part is rinsing off in the freshwater rinse bin at the dock, complete with an epic hair swirl!” Photo: Jeanie Greenmaki
Kids in a forest setting
Granddaughters on Moss Beach, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Forest near Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dennis Devine
Turtle in front of diver
Measuring green sea turtle turtle (Chelonia mydas) morphology, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo: John Taschner
Three smiling people
The hearts of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Doug Boyd
Person in the surf with a warning sign in foreground
Hawaiian Current in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary with whales visible from shoreline. Photo: John Taschner
Diver swimming through reef and fish
Sheri Sudweeks paddles near a great white (Carcharodon carcharias) in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bruce Sudweeks
two divers on wreck
Two scuba divers (approximately 80 feet deep) exploring the Grecian shipwreck in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary almost exactly 114 years after it sunk. Photo: Kate Berg
two divers on wreck
Two scuba divers (approximately 80 feet deep) exploring the Grecian shipwreck in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary almost exactly 114 years after it sunk. Photo: Kate Berg
Diver over wreck
A scuba diver (approximately 80 feet deep) exploring the Montana shipwreck in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a 235-foot sidewheel steamer Photo: Kate Berg
Diver over wreck
A scuba diver exploring the Montana shipwreck, a 235-foot sidewheel steamer. To the left is the ship’s arch support that split in half and fell backwards. Photo: Kate Berg
Diver in front of wreck
A scuba diver (approximately 80 feet deep) exploring and photographing the boiler of the Montana, a 235-foot sidewheel steamer. Photo: Kate Berg
Diver swimming through wreck
A scuba diver (approximately 80 feet deep) exploring and photographing the boiler of the Montana, a 235-foot sidewheel steamer. Photo: Kate Berg
Kayakers infront of bird group
A kayaking couple enjoys a distanced view of the birds at Carmel River State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Lisa Carpenter
Surfers, dogs, and people walking on sidewalk
“A perfect day cruising ‘the Hook’ near Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Dog walkers, surfers, and surf-watchers enjoy a great June day!” Photo: Christina Ford
Paddler on board in front of a white shark
Sheri Sudweeks stand up paddler near a Great White. Photo: Bruce Sudweeks
Paddler on river near wreck from above
A SUP-er explores the wrecks of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Kate Sutter
Paddler on river near wreck from above
A SUP-er explores the wrecks of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Kate Sutter
Diver jumping off boat into water
A diver jumps in on a perfect summer day for a clean-up dive on Islamorada Reef in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Tiffany Duong
Lionfish on a spear with freediver
“Sanctuary recreation can be fun and environmentally beneficial. A diver spears a lionfish (Pterois miles) in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Spearing by divers and freedivers is an important maintenance tool to keep populations of the invasive lionfish in check.” Photo: Tiffany Duong
dive boat throwing buoy
“There’s nothing better than coming up after a beautiful dive with perfect conditions in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.” Photo: Tiffany Duong
Diver checks coral tree
A coral restoration practitioner in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary fragments endangered staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) to propagate and grow more coral that will eventually be restored back to the reef. Photo: Tiffany Duong
freediver over wreck
The wreck of the L.M. Mason at Presque Isle in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Marc Hoeksema
freediver over wreck
The wreck of the L.M. Mason at Presque Isle in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Marc Hoeksema
wet dogs on a beach
"A Wet Dog is a Happy Dog:" Lighthouse State Beach, Santa Cruz, CA in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Christina Ford
Two kayakers on the water in front of arches
In unusually calm waters surrounding Santa Cruz Island, kayakers explore the coastline in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris

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 recreation in the National Marine Sanctuary System. These photos are not for sale and are not for commercial use unless prior permission is arranged.