2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest results

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

Sanctuary Views

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

Rocky farallon islands
1st Place: James Moskito. Arch Rock South East Farallon in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
a heron sihouetted at sunset
2nd Place: Michael Schilling. A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) observes the setting sun over Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The moon over the ocean and a pink sky.
3rd place: Douglas Croft. "Moonset over Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. As I arrived at Moss Landing for an early morning Whale watching trip, I had to stop at the beach to take this scene in for a few minutes."

All submitted photos

photo from the top of a cliff, cliffside to the right and ocean to the left.
Cavern Point, Santa Cruz Island at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Tricia Leskiw.
an orange full moon over the cliffs, above the ocean
A full moon rises above Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris.
an above view of rocky cliffsides and blue ocean
Looking toward Anacapa Island, the warm evening sun lights up Scorpion Cove, Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Dustin Harris.
cliffs curving to the left, ocean to the right.
View of Scorpion Marine Reserve from Cavern Point, Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Tricia Leskiw.
stars, purple sky, cliffs in front
Scorpion Anchorage glows under the starlight as the Milky Way hangs above. These protected waters around eastern Santa Cruz Island, in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, provide a home to many species that swim below. Photo: Dustin Harris.
yellow and orange sunset lighting up the clouds and the ocean. a silhouette of a structure is visible on the right.
Fall sunset views shine vibrantly in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary on the way back to Ventura Harbor with lingering views of Santa Cruz Island. Photo: Aubrie Fowler.
view from on the boat, looking ahead on the water
Traveling on a boat to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Russell L. Wilkins Jr.
mooring buoy on a boat, orange ring buoy, with sunset in the background
NOAA mooring buoy on a boat at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Russell L. Wilkins Jr.
Oil rig on the water.
Oil rig near Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Russell L. Wilkins Jr.
far away gas rig & yellow sunset over the water
Oil rig at sunset near Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Russell L. Wilkins Jr.
photo from an airplane, part of the plane visible. Bright, clear blue-green ocean below.
Aerial of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary near Key West, Florida. Photo: Michael Schilling.
above view of a manatee swimming
A North American manatee (Trichechus manatus) out of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Schilling.
lighthouse on metal stilts, over the ocean at sunset
(Sand Key Lighthouse) in Key West, FL at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Barstow.
underwater photo of sea grass and sand.
Shades of blue out of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Michael Schilling.
 view of the rocky islands.
Panoramic of the Farallon Islands and the sun peaking through the clouds at Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: James Moskito.
tall rocky islands, with sunset lighting and partially visible rainbow.
Sunset at the Farallon Islands as a rainbow peaks out from behind the clouds at Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: James Moskito.
panoramic of rocky cliffs rising from the ocean.
Panoramic view of the Farallon Islands at Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of San Francisco. Photo: James Moskito.
underwater photo of a small coral
Coral reef at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Rachael Rourke.
Exploring caves.
Kaumana Caves on the Big Island at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Linda Woo.
trees and building in the dark
New Years Eve outside of NOAA Sanctuary Headquarters on Maui at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Taylor-Rose Stone.
a thin tree growing in the sand, ocean and the mountains in the background.
A beach heliotrope tree (Heliotropium foertherianum) leans from strong winds in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Anna Baker Mikkelsen.
waves crash on the rocks. green brush in the foreground.
Powerful waves crashing against La‘ie point on a gloomy and beautiful day in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Anna Baker Mikkelsen.
people sitting on the cliffside with fishing rods
Fishing off the cliffs of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Sandra Cohen.
Eel grass underwater, lighting from above, green ocean
Eel grass (Zostera marina) in a green sea at Lover's Point in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Stefanie Flax.
waves crashing, cliffs in the background, and birds in the distance on the right.
This shore scene along Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary shows crashing waves, rock outcroppings, and brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) flying along the upper right hand side. Photo: Elizabeth Van Dyke.
A group of seals sunning on rocks, sand dunes in the background.
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) enjoying the beautiful rainbow coloration of the plant-inhabited sand dunes in the Elkhorn Slough within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Emily Pomeroy.
close up of bull kelp, ripples on the water above
Light dances on blades of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Abbey Dias.
close up of kelp underwater
Kelptivated; Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Stefanie Flax.
close up of bull kelp
Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) have gas-filled nematocysts which allow the kelp to grow towards the surface at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Abbey Dias.
close up of bull kelp
Reflections of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) on the water of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Abbey Dias.
draping bull kelp in the water and light shining through
Sunlight shining through the bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Abbey Dias.
photo half above and half below the surface of the water, a bull kelp visible on the lower half
A fine line between above and below the surface in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Features a bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). Photo: Abbey Dias.
close up of giant kelp underwater
Reverence; Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) at Monastery Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Stefanie Flax.
green field, with the coast and a white lighthouse in the background.
(Pigeon Point) Lighthouse along Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Built in 1891, it is 115-foot tall. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historical Landmark. Still an active Coast Guard navigation aid, it helps mariners avoid the rocky shore. Photo: Elizabeth Van Dyke.
orange sun setting, with ocean to the left and rocks to the right on the beach
A beautiful sunset in Big Sur, California in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Rebekah Sophia.
Crashing blue wave, with trees and houses in the background. rocks in the foreground.
Large swell coming in at Carmel River State Beach in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Emily Pomeroy.
Sand to the left, rocks to the right, on the beach. It's a foggy day, with ocean and trees in the background.
The fog begins to recede at Shi Shi Beach near Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Losavio.
rocks in the foreground, deep blue ocean and blue sky. calm sea and airplane trails in the sky.
The tide rises at Shi Shi Beach in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Losavio.
footprints in the sand leading to three people standing on the beach. large rocks and trees, ocean to the right.
Sweeping views of Shi Shi Beach near Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Losavio.
cliffside and pine trees over the ocean. foggy and grey sky.
A view of the turbulent shores above Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Losavio.
a tree trunk stands, without its branches, on a rocky beach, the grey ocean to the left.
Survival: Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Rialto Beach - the ancestral homeland of the Quileute people. Photo: Yogin Kothari.
view of ocean waves in between green trees.
A peak between the trees above Shi Shi Beach reveals Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Mark Losavio.
above and below water on Palmyra Atoll
Views from above and below water on Palmyra Atoll, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Photo: Adi Khen.
Heliotrope tree on shore.
Heliotrope tree (Heliotropium foertherianum) on the beach at Palmyra Atoll, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Photo: Adi Khen.
Below a palm tree on the shore.
Underneath a coconut palm on a sandy beach at Palmyra Atoll, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Photo: Adi Khen.
palm trees on the lookout over the blue water
Swimming hole at Palmyra Atoll, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Coconut palm trees (Cocos nucifera) overlook the ocean. Photo: Adi Khen.
Black noddy flying over the water.
Black noddy (Anous minutus) at the beach on Palmyra Atoll, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Photo: Adi Khen.
Underwater rock ledge and ocean flora
Algae overhangs drip over coral cliffs. It's easy to forget sometimes that you're underwater and not just flying through a forest in Kapou, Lisianski Island, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo: Kimberly Jeffries.
one tall rock tower above the ocean, with birds flying
La Perouse looms from the sea in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo: Kimberly Jeffries.
rainbow arch over the ocean, on the coast.
Rainbow over Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo: David Coleman.

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.