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Submit your photos to NOAA for a chance to be featured in “Earth is Blue”

July 22, 2022

Each summer, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) holds a photo contest to celebrate the sanctuary system. As the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, people are encouraged to get out and learn about one of its newest considerations – the proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary.

This year’s contest is already underway and will run until Monday, September 5. The theme, “Enter Your Sanctuary”, encourages residents and visitors to discover their sanctuary in their own way – whether it’s the thrill of diving to explore a wreck, the serenity of relaxing on the beach or the opportunity to catch a record salmon.

Photographers aged 13 and over are welcome to participate, regardless of skill level.

Photos can be submitted in one of four categories:

  • Sanctuary Recreation: shows responsible recreation on, in, or near a sanctuary, such as swimming, boating, or enjoying the beach. Follow public health advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments.
  • Views of the sanctuary: shows the beautiful scenery of shrines, such as sunrises, sunsets and weather photos.
  • Sanactuary life: shows the inhabitants of the sanctuary such as birds, fish and marine mammals. Follow NOAA’s wildlife viewing guidelines at to ensure locals are not disturbed. Help NOAA highlight wildlife photography best practices by indicating what type of camera/lens was used and the approximate distance to the subject.
  • Home Sanctuaries: shows the personal connection to the shrines, such as photos of stewardship activities or artwork related to the shrine.

Photographers can use a Google form to submit up to 10 photographs. Find the form here: or email your photos to [email protected]

Each photo must have a minimum width of 1200 pixels and contain no watermark. They should also include the photographer’s name, the date and location of the snapshot, and a brief description of the image.

The winning photographs will be announced in October 2022 and featured in the “Earth is Blue” magazine and social media campaign in 2023.

Learn more about National Marine Sanctuaries by following NOAA’s NMS Office on social media. Photographers are encouraged to tell their friends about the contest on social media using #ILoveMySanctuary and #RecreateResponsibly.

For more information about the photo contest, go to: or email [email protected]

The proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary encompasses more than 1,700 square miles in eastern Lake Ontario. It will protect and showcase dozens of shipwrecks and other historically significant underwater assets. NOAA announced its intention to designate the marine sanctuary in April 2019, and in mid-2021 released draft documents related to the proposed sanctuary. For more information on the proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary, visit

BEACH LIFE – NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries invites photographers to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022! Capture your experience with the proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary and submit your photo online. Pictured is a day at the beach at Selkirk Shores National Park in Pulaski. For more details on the photo contest, go to