GET OUT YOUR CAMERAS, it’s time for the Save Our Shores’ Waves and Wildlife Photo Contest! You like snapping beautiful photos of scenic places and majestic wildlife found along the Monterey Bay’s network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and we want to see them.

But first, did you know that there are 29 MPAs along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary? If you’ve ever visited a beach in Santa Cruz or Monterey County, chances are you’ve already visited one. MPAs are State or National Parks that manage the resources of fragile, unique, and ecologically significant coastal areas. Still, the majority of people who visit these precious landmarks are unaware of their significance. Save Our Shores, aims to increase Marine Protected Area awareness through our Waves and Wildlife photo sharing competition.

Award winning photographer and Santa Cruz local, John F. Hunter, agrees. Hunter reminds our Monterey Bay community that “We are in a wonderful position to bring more ocean awareness to the world through photography. It’s important to get out and enjoy the spiritual richness of where we live… Grab a camera, any camera, and start shooting!”

In this spirit of adventure, the Waves and Wildlife photo competition will excite outdoor enthusiasts and artists who enjoy exploring and interacting with the Monterey Bay in fun and responsible ways. Whether it’s bird watching at Elkhorn Slough, surfing with whales outside of Natural Bridges, diving through kelp forests at Point Lobos, hiking to Point Sur’s historical lighthouse, or dodging giant elephant seals as they compete for territory at Año Nuevo, there are so many MPAs to capture the experience with a camera. So head on over to your favorite Marine Protected Area, get inspired, then send us your best pictures of the experience for your chance to win whale watching tours, prizes from REI, and the chance to become a Save Our Shores’ featured photographer for 2016.

Take it from Hunter. When we asked him about his most memorable ocean adventure, Hunter recalls drifting around on a skiff while capturing breathtaking photos of Humpbacks feeding along the Monterey Bay in less than thirty-feet of water. “The water started boiling with anchovies and the whales breached so close that my camera would not focus. I got to look into the eyes of Humpbacks that day and was astonished at how aware they are… I made up my mind then, for the rest of my life, I would do everything I could to help preserve the ocean, part of which is hopefully creating more ecological awareness, through my photography.”

Save Our Shores’ shares Hunter’s goal. We want to inspire people to learn more about Marine Protected Areas and their ecological significance by sharing user-submitted photos showcasing MPA beauty on our website and social media.

[flagallery gid=5]


RULES AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: We make our photo sharing contest easy for you. Whether you’ve already taken a few inspiring photos at your favorite Monterey Bay MPA destination this year or are about to begin next weekend, let us know. Any and all of your landscape and marine life photos are important to us! The only thing you have to do is submit your photos following the Waves and Wildlife Photo Contest rules:

  • If you use your phone, submit your photos using #MPAmondays on social media. If you use your trusty camera, send your photos to with #MPAmondays in the subject line. Don’t forget to tell us what Marine Protected Area your photos were captured at.
  • Submit as many photos as you would like!
    • If you are submitting more than one photo, please attach them in the same email with a total file size limit of 25MB, multiple email bundles are accepted
  • Photos must be taken at one of the 29 Marine Protected Areas in the Monterey Bay to qualify. You can find the Boundary Map HERE.

Winners will be announced in Spring 2016 so that you have plenty of time to explore and capture each unique MPA.

Popular Marine Protected Areas in the Monterey Bay to consider experiencing:

[threecol_one]Ano-Nuevo[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Greyhound-Rock[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]Natural-Bridges[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last][/threecol_one_last] [box type=”info”]The Waves and Wildlife Photo Contest is brought to you by #MPAmondays, a Save Our Shores project to increase Marine Protected Area awareness. Help us spread the word by taking and sharing inspiring photos of Monterey Bay’s invaluable network of MPAs using #MPAmondays. All submitted photos must be original and owned by submitter (i.e. your own work). Photos must be taken at a Marine Protected Area to qualify. All photos will be properly credited and remain property of original artist. By submitting your photos, you grant Save Our Shores the permission to share photos on our website and social media as the organization sees fit. Winning photos may be used in Save Our Shores publications. Winners will be announced in Spring of 2016. For questions regarding the contest, contact[/box]

Need some more inspiration? Check out John F. Hunter’s webpage HERE!

Leave a Reply