North Carolina is home to some of the most diverse marine environments on the Atlantic Coast. From the elegant red drum tailing in the shallow marshes to the giant sand tiger sharks dwelling on the deep ship wrecks, North Carolina's marine ecosystems are truly amazing. However, as beautiful as they may be, they are equally fragile.

The Photos for the Ocean contest for marine conservation is an effort designed to use the art of photography to support our coastal environment here in North Carolina. By entering a photo into this contest, you are helping preserve the great recreational benefits our coast provides us, from surfing to fishing to scuba diving.

All proceeds from the entry fees are donated to the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, the leader of marine conservation non-profits in NC. Click here to learn more about the CCA of NC and their mission. If you do not wish to submit a photo, but still want to support this project and marine conservation, you can donate to the CCA on behalf of Photos for the Ocean here

Here's how the contest works:

Anyone can enter.

The contest is open for submissions from June 24th to September 5th.

Photos can be from anywhere around the world but must be your photo and must relate to marine environments.

The entry fee is $10 for 1 photo, $15 for 2 photos, and $20 for 3 photos. There is not a limit on the number of photos each person can submit.

Each photo must be entered under one of two categories: topside (above water) or underwater.

Prizes for Topside Category:

1st Place: Publication of your picture on the North Carolina Sportsman website, $50 Gift Card to Great Outdoor Provision Co.

2nd Place: $30 Gift Card to Great Outdoor Provision Co.

3rd Place: $25 Gift Card to Great Outdoor Provision Co.

4th Place: Carolina Blue NC Fish Hat

​Prizes for Underwater Category:

1st Place: Full Day Dive Charter with Olympus Dive Center (Morehead City)

​Publication of your picture on the North Carolina Sportsman website 

2nd Place: $50 Gift Card to Great Outdoor Provision Co.

3rd Place: $25 Gift Card to Great Outdoor Provision Co.

4th Place: Carolina Blue NC Fish Hat

Click here to enter the Photos for the Ocean contest.