double rainbow over the ocean

Join us and celebrate #PrideInTheOcean

During the month of June, the National Marine Sanctuary System will be celebrating Ocean Month and LGBT Pride Month through our #PrideInTheOcean campaign. Our ocean is for everyone, and we want to know how you take pride in this blue planet.

In partnership with Pride Outside, we're asking you to share an image of yourself in, on, or by the ocean with caption explaining why and how you take pride in the ocean!

How to participate

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Submit your photo
Take a photo of yourself in, on, or by the ocean – bonus points if you're holding a sign that says #PrideInTheOcean. Email it to with a caption explaining why you take pride in the ocean. Photos and captions will be shared on the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Pride Outside social media and this webpage.

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Share your photo on social media
During June, share your photo and caption on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #PrideInTheOcean. Tag NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (Instagram/Twitter) and Pride Outside (Instagram/Twitter).

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Encourage others to show their pride
Help us spread the word and ask your friends and family to get involved and post their own photos to social media with #PrideInTheOcean.


Example post

a woman standing in front of the ocean holding a sign that says #prideintheocean

My name is Liz Weinberg, and I have #PrideInTheOcean. As the social media coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, I work to bring information about the National Marine Sanctuary System to people all over the world. As a queer woman, I want to make sure that EVERYONE has access to and feels welcome in these amazing places.

(Photo description: A woman stands in front of the ocean with a sign that says “#PrideInTheOcean.”)


pride in the ocean flyer
Click to download a larger PDF version.


two people standing in the ocean
Bernadette Restivo, Fantasy Fest Queen (she/her)
"My name is Bernadette Restivo, current Fantasy Fest Queen. I have always lived by the water. Living on an island surrounded by the beautiful seas always refreshes my mind and renews my soul. Sunrises, sunsets, tides and waves...all from God’s gift to us."
a woman in an inflatable boat near mountains
Elizabeth Bradfield, writer and naturalist (she/her)
"Elizabeth Bradfield, at the entrance to LeConte Bay in Southeast Alaska, is about to take a group of people out to explore icebergs calved from the glacier. Sharing information and curiosity about the ocean and all its shores with others is a joy for her, and she hopes that she can inspire others – whoever they are and wherever they come from -- to care for our ocean. Bradfield is a writer and naturalist."
person near the ocean holding a sign that says #PrideInTheOcean
James Roubal, Washington CoastSavers & Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (he/him)
"My name is James Roubal, and I have #PrideInTheOcean. As the program coordinator for Washington CoastSavers and the Olympic Coast Chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, I work with thousands of volunteers every year to keep our Washington waters clean of marine debris. As a queer man, it's important I provide a safe and welcoming space for our volunteers, so they feel they can explore these special places. There's a real lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the conservation community and I'm thankful for campaigns like these that help break down barriers."
classic selfie on a beach
Meghan Walter, USDA/Pride in Federal Service (she/her)
"Growing up in the landlocked Midwest, I took the first opportunity to move closer to the ocean. I love being near the water. One of the best parts of my job as a civil engineer in natural resource conservation is contributing to healthy forests and streams, and a clean ocean."
classic selfie on a beach
Robb Krehbiel, Defenders of Wildlife (he/him)
"Friends of mine and I went on a whale watching trip in the San Juans and had a great time. We came across a pod of transient orcas, which are cousins to the endangered Southern Resident orcas. Part of my job with Defenders of Wildlife is to manage our advocacy and program work for Southern Resident Orcas."
man standing in front of a tall ship
Matt Stout, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (he/him)
"As the communications director for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, I'm working today to make our ocean better tomorrow!"
classic selfie on a beach
Antônio Isabeles, Native American outreach counselor (he/him)
"Ke’aku! Na notoka’ Antônio Isabeles. Hello! My name is Antônio Isabeles. As a Tuxpan Coast Nahua/Wixárika tribal member, and my mother being Native Hawaiian/Samoan, my connections to the ocean and my Two-Spirit identity are super important to me. The ocean is where our people were first created and a resource we depended on, quite literally Tatei Háaramara, Our Mother Ocean. As indigenous people from the Pacific Islands and the Americas, protection of our land and waters is essential to our survival and continuation of our spiritual practices. #PrideInTheOcean means a chance to be proud of the ocean my people come from, and proud of holding onto my traditions as a Two Spirit indigenous gay man."
Photo taken on the coast of the Tulalip Tribes Reservation
a person holding a bucket full of marine debris
Nicolas Vanderzyl, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund (he/him)
"My name is Nicolas Vanderzyl, and I have #PrideInTheOcean. I am a gay marine scientist and environmental educator for a local NGO, Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund. I am honored by the opportunity to share my passion for the ocean and also raise awareness of LGBTQ+ in STEM. My hope is that I will inspire others to be the change that will preserve the ocean while also making the next generation of scientists feel comfortable however they self-identify."
person in a kayak
Hannah Malvin, Pride Outside and The Wilderness Society (she/her)
"Through my work with Pride Outside, it’s been wonderful coming together for hikes, outdoor skills classes, LGBTQ history walking tours, and the LGBTQ Outdoor Summit. I have gotten to know LGBTQ rangers around the world, LGBTQ conservation and outdoor industry professionals, and LGBTQ outdoorists. It’s been so meaningful to build friendships and learn about people’s experiences and connections to the outdoors. #PrideInTheOcean is about boosting LGBTQ representation and inclusion in the outdoors. Everyone belongs in the outdoors and it can be so affirming to see people like you in the outdoors, we’re hoping to spread that message far and wide."
seven people standing together on a beach
Jenny, Candise, Jen, Mary, Marcéo, Aime, Rhiannon, Creature To Creature and Whisper Hiss
"Creature To Creature and Whisper Hiss are queer-centered rock bands and good friends from Portland who share a love of being around natural water. Everybody deserves to feel safe and taken care of at the beach – all bodies, all genders, all sexualities – EVERYONE deserves to walk along the beach without harassment or threat. Both bands create songs from a radically vulnerable place, about feeling safe and at home in our own skin, about connection and emotion. There is no place like the ocean to feel deeply and inspire us. The ocean reminds us of the power of tears and embracing our personal truths. Take care of each other, and remember your deep connection to the water."
a woman in a kayak
Maria Harvey, Center for Coastal Studies (she/her)
"I have spent many years taking #PrideInTheOcean working as an ecotour guide in Alaska and Hawai‘i, and now as a marine mammal disentanglement specialist in Cape Cod. Daily we have an opportunity to teach people about our ocean, the dangers it faces, and encourage future generations of scientists/educators/conservationists. I think being able to show others how I take #lgbtq pride in myself and #pride in the places I guide can be a huge inspiration going forward."
a person with arm and leg outstretched while holding onto a driftwood pole
Julian Kosanovic, professional musician and computer engineering student (they/them)
“My name is Julian Kosanovic (they/them) and I have #PrideInTheOcean. Running barefoot along the shore is my second favorite beach activity. Being a fabulous queer on a fabulous beach is my first.”
people posing together for a photo while on a boat
Lionfish Invitational crew
The June 2019 Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Lionfish Invitational scuba divers had #PrideInTheOcean on board the M/V Fling off the coast of Texas. The divers (straight, gay, deaf, black, and white) came together from Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Washington, California, Hawai‘i, and even Bermuda to remove invasive lionfish from the sanctuary's waters. This mix of talented people took pride in their diversity out on the water while coming together for the common goals of diving, science, and ocean conservation.
a man sitting on a pier in front of the ocean
Ricardo Salazar, NOAA Fisheries (he/him)
"My name is Ricardo Salazar and I am a North Pacific groundfish observer for NOAA Fisheries. The reason I take #PrideintheOcean is because growing up gay and Latino was a difficult experience for me. The ocean was my way of escaping. It became my sanctuary and I vow to protect it with all my heart. I hope to inspire the LGBTQ+ and POC community to study STEM and have a better understanding for the ocean and protect it as well."
a person in a boat
Johann Stiepani, Uppsala University Ph.D. student (they/them)
"My name is Johann Stiepani and I take #PrideInTheOcean. I am a Ph.D. student at Uppsala University at the Gotland Campus in the Department of Natural Resource and Sustainable Development. My thesis working title is Seagrass Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Management in the Indo-Pacific. I work with invertebrate gleaners and fisherfolk in coastal areas of the Indo-Pacific geographic region. I take pride in my unique LGBT+ identity because I believe my identity gives me the edge to understanding and empathy to coastal communities that relay on their natural resource. I strongly encourage young people to keep pushing their way into science and never let anyones opinion about your identity stop you from contributing to science and marine conservation."
people posing together for a photo
Patagonia Seattle staff
"Patagonia Seattle takes #PrideInTheOcean. We work with various local non-profits that advocate and take care of the Salish Sea and the Puget Sound, whether it be a local beach clean up or helping entangled whales, our community is out there taking pride in our oceans. Our team is committed to encouraging our customers to take action in their local community through our activism platform called Patagonia Action Works."
green sea anemones and other tidepool invertebrates
Ranger Megan, Olympic National Park (she/her)
"I have #PrideInTheOcean. My favorite thing about visiting the intertidal is the amazing amount of diversity to be found there, biodiversity that is. It reminds me that every creature plays a role in the health of the ecosystem and that every creature has something important to contribute. Take one out and it changes the delicate balance."
a man and a girl standing in front of the ocean holding a #prideintheocean sign
RDML Tim Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Ocean and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator (he/him)
"My daughter Aspen and our entire family take pride in the ocean for giving energy, water, and life to everyone and everything. We especially take pride in our national marine sanctuaries for protecting, preserving, and promoting America's precious ocean and maritime resources."


#PrideInTheOcean is brought to you by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Pride Outside. Want your organization to get involved? Contact

About the project

The National Marine Sanctuary System offers this campaign as part of its continuing Heritage Months project. We celebrate the seven officially recognized Heritage Months with targeted outreach appropriate to each month and offer extensive diversity resources on our Heritage of the Blue site.

Because this nation, and its ocean, are for everyone.

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