get into your sanctuary day logo and photo contest winners

Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

Show the world what the ocean and Great Lakes mean to you.

May 24, 2024 through September 2, 2024 (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend)

In celebration of national Get Into Your Sanctuary activities, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries holds a photo contest annually from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. We will be accepting submissions in the following categories:

How to Enter

Submit your photos from Friday, May 24, 2024 until Monday, September 2, 2024.

Each photographer may submit up to 10 photos total (minimum of 1200 pixels on long edge). To clarify, this means 10 photos per person, not 10 photos per category. Photographers may submit photos to all categories, as long as their submissions do not exceed 10 photos total. Additional photos will be disqualified if photographer submits more than 10 images. All images MUST include the following information: photographer's name, short description of when and where the photo was taken, and what is shown in the photo. Please include the species names of animals if known.

Submit your photos here:

Remember to practice responsible recreation when taking your photos. When photographing marine mammals and other protected species, always follow wildlife viewing guidelines to ensure that you are not disturbing these animals. Help us highlight wildlife photography best practices by indicating what kind of camera/lens you used and the approximate distance from which you took the photo. Animals need plenty of space to stay healthy and safe, so let's share our collective knowledge of responsible photography!

Thank you for participating and we are excited to review your submissions!

Please make sure to review the contest rules below.

For questions, please contact

Additional Contest Rules

  1. By submitting a photo, you agree to all rules of the Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest.
  2. Photographers must be at least 13 years of age or older as of the first day of the contest (May 24, 2024).
  3. We will assume that, in submitting a photo, you are the owner of the photo and have the right to publish it (including permission/model release for anyone identifiably pictured).
  4. By submitting a photo, you are giving us permission to use the photo for other purposes, such as 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 the photographs submitted in this contest to promote sustainable and responsible activities such as recreation within the National Marine Sanctuary System. These photos are not for sale and are not for commercial use unless prior permission is arranged.
  5. Only photos taken while in compliance with wildlife viewing regulations and government approach regulations will be considered. Do not harass animals just to get the "perfect" shot!
  6. Follow all social distancing guidelines and closures recommended by the CDC and your state and local guidance.
  7. Submitted photos without information on the photographer and a brief caption will not be considered.
  8. No watermarks on submitted photos.
  9. Photos should be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide (but the bigger, the better!).
  10. Please limit the total number of your photo submissions to 10 entries. Additional photos will be disqualified if photographer submits more than 10 total images.
  11. Only one form per person needs to be submitted for each category. If you cannot submit via the form, send all information and photos to

Help Us Spread the Word!

Tell your friends about the contest on social media. Please use #GetIntoYourSanctuary and #RecreateResponsibly.

Questions? Please contact

Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest Winners