2021 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.

body surfer catching a large wave
1st Place: Anna Baker Mikkelsen. Catching a large swell at Sandy’s Beach in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
Child sits on the shoreline by the ocean and a palm tree.
2nd Place: Makerita Gebauer. Learning to fish responsibly at Amanave Village in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.
two people walk along the foggy beach
3rd Place: Mark Losavio. “The views of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary are so grand and beautiful that it feels like I’ve been transported to a movie set or something. Such surreal beauty is difficult to capture on camera but I love having a reminder of my time there.”

All submitted photos

large rock arch against dark water and grey clouds
Arch Rock, at the east end of Anacapa Island, has been shaped by thousands of years of wave and wind activity. A lone kayaker marvels at the size of this arch while paddling in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris.
kayakers paddle in the dark through a cave
Cavern Point Cave on Santa Cruz Island extends over 400 feet into the cliffside. Kayakers navigate the dark room, found in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris.
kayaking through a sea cave
Waters encompassed by Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary include some of the highest densities of sea caves in the world. This cave is hidden in a cove near Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. Photo: Dustin Harris.
white sailboat on the water, taken from shore
Sailing off Prisoner's Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, part of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctury. Photo: Tricia Leskiw.
kayakers in a sea cave, the water is illuminated bright green
Hidden in the volcanic cliffs of Santa Cruz Islands, within Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, are sea caves of all shapes and sizes. On a mid-tide and calm day, this cave glows green from the light passing under a rocky ledge. Photo: Dustin Harris.
view from the cliffs, pier and boats on the water
View of Scorpion Marine Reserve and pier from Cavern Point, Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Tricia Leskiw.
sign in the water reads canal asleep, please don't wake
A clever local sign advises boaters to adhere to residential shorelines regulations in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Gena Parsons.
diver in the middle of arch on shipwreck
Diver explores the iconic arch on the (City of Washington) wreck at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Silverman.
girl snorkeling, photo taken underwater
My 7 year old daughter, Sybil, snorkeling the Florida Keys Reef Tract at John Pennekamp State Park in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Justin Thornton.
selfie of photographer and their daughter, both in snorkeling masks underwater
My daughter and I snorkeling at John Pennekamp State park in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Justin Thornton.
SCUBA diver makes a jump into the water
Leaping into a dive at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary for spectacular underwater geology and an abundance of marine life. Photo: Anna Baker Mikkelsen.
three people wait on the rocks, one dives into the water
Making a splash at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Anna Baker Mikkelsen.
A person on a sailboat at sunset holding a shawl in the wind.
Sunset off Waikiki at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Linda Woo.
sea turtle on the ocean floor, SCUBA diver behind
A scuba diver observing a Hawaiian green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Bill Pigott.
two people in a kayak looking at a group of sea otters in the ocean
Kayakers observe a raft of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) near Monterey, California in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Emily Pomeroy.
surfer jumps with board off the rocks, with sea lions in back and gulls to the right
A surfer jumping into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California. Sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and western gulls (Larus occidentalis) watch in the distance. Photo: Elizabeth Van Dyke.

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.