Save Our Shores Launches New Contest
There are 29 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. MPAs are State or National Parks that manage the resources of fragile, unique, and ecologically significant coastal areas. The chances of a visitor stumbling across one in Santa Cruz or Monterey County are fairly high. Still, the majority of people who visit these precious landmarks are unaware of their significance. Longtime marine conservation nonprofit, Save Our Shores (SOS), aims to increase Marine Protected Area awareness through their Waves and Wildlife photo sharing competition.
Award winning photographer and Santa Cruz local, John F. Hunter, reminds the Monterey Bay community, “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.
When asked 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. The nonprofit wants to inspire people to learn more about Marine Protected Areas and their ecological significance by sharing user-submitted photos showcasing MPA beauty on SOS’s website and social media. Contestants are encouraged to submit their best pictures for a chance to win whale watching tours, prizes from REI, and the chance to become a Save Our Shores’ featured photographer for 2016.
For photo submission guidelines, visit saveourshores.org/contest
Save Our Shores (SOS) is a Santa Cruz-based marine conservation nonprofit dedicated to caring for the California Central Coast through advocacy, awareness, and citizen action. Learn more at saveourshores.org