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Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

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

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.

Winning photos will be featured in next year's Earth Is Blue Magazine and on the Earth Is Blue social media campaign.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest! To view the winners of this year's and previous photo contests, click on the images below.

2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

The 2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest that will run from on May 29th - September 6th, 2021 (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend).

How to Enter

Submit your images (minimum of 1200 pixels wide, no more than 10) to us at earthisblue@noaa.gov. 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. If you would like us to tag you on Instagram if we share your photo there, please include your Instagram handle as well.

Remember to practice responsible recreation when taking your photos. When photographing marine mammals and other protected species, always follow NOAA Fisheries' best practices and 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!

Additional Contest Rules

  1. Photographers must be at least 13 years of age or older as of the first day of the contest (May 23, 2020).
  2. 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).
  3. 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, of course, 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Follow all social distancing guidelines and closures laid out by the CDC and your state and local guidance.
  6. Photos that are submitted without information on the photographer and a brief caption will not be considered.
  7. No watermarks on submitted photos.
  8. Photos should be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide (but the bigger, the better!).
  9. Please limit the total number of your photo submissions to 10 entries.

Help Us Spread the Word!

Tell your friends about the contest on social media, and download the printable factsheet. Please use #ILoveMySanctuary and #RecreateResponsibly