Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce holds Photo Contest for Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Annual Pass

August 24, 2023
Black Necked Stilt by Randall Reed

Pictured: Last year’s winning photo of a black-necked stilt taken by Randall Reed

Casting call for all amateur photographers! Your picture may be the next winner of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Annual Pass Photo Contest, sponsored again this year by the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce. In the past, artists have captured some outstanding images that highlight our amazing scenic landscapes, fascinating wildlife and natural beauty. The contest is held this year from August 25 to September 15, 2023. Chamber staff will select the top 5 entries based on adherence to guidelines and overall essence of the captured image. Local community leaders will then be asked to pick a winner from these finalists. The winner will be announced on September 29, 2023. The selected image will be featured on the front of the 2024 Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Annual Pass! Grab your cameras, visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and start capturing memories! For contest rules and entry form, visit We are excited to share your experience!

Photo Guidelines

  • Each entry must have been taken on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Please remember that feeding, baiting and touching wildlife is prohibited. Please provide a short description of where photo was taken.
  • Photos cannot include a subject that has been featured within the past 5 years

**Ineligible subjects:

2019 — Sunset/Sunrise Landscape

2020 — Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel

ESVA Chamber Fest, Saturday, May 18 in Cape Charles

2021 — Ruddy Turnstone

2022 — Snowy Owl

2023 — Black-Necked Stilt

Older passes with eligible subjects:

2014 — Assateague Lighthouse

2015 — Ponies

2016 — Bald Eagle

Pep Up

2017 — Monarch Butterfly

2018 — Snapping Turtle

  • Image cropping and resizing is allowed but any color modifications or addition of elements not existing in the original image will not be accepted.
  • Photo must be in landscape format.
  • Photo must be 3:2 aspect ratio in order to fit the standard pass format.
  • Photo must be a high resolution (300 dpi) as the winning photos must look good in print. Your file will likely be 3 mb or larger.
  • Only 1 entry per photographer.
  • Photographers must be the sole owner of the copyright for the photograph submitted and entries must be submitted by the original creator.
  • Photo must not infringe on any other person’s or entity’s rights.
  • Photos with people in them will not be accepted.
  • All rules and regulations of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge must be followed when taking photographs. Photographs depicting anything that does not adhere to the rules and regulations of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge; contains unsafe acts; presents resource or public use management concerns; or photographs that are inappropriate, indecent or obscene, as determined by the Refuge Manager in their sole discretion, shall be disqualified.
  • All submitted photos will remain the property of the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce to be used in future promotions or marketing with proper photo credit given to the photographer.

Who is eligible?

  • ALL Amateur Photographers (less than 20% of your total income is from photography).
  • There is no cost/fee for entering this contest.

Who is ineligible?

  • Individuals who derive 20% or more of their income from photography.
  • Employees, interns and volunteers of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague Natural History Association, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce board of directors and staff, representatives or sponsors of the participating agencies, and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

Winning Entry Requirements

  • The winner must complete & sign Copyright Release Agreement (FWS Form 3-2259).
  • A high resolution copy of the winning photo and copyright release must be submitted to CNWR no later than September 21, 2023. (Chamber will submit)
  • The winning photo will become the property of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The photographer grants unlimited use of submitted photographs by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chincoteague Natural History Association for publications, displays, web pages, presentations and promotional products. Credit will always be given to the photographer. The photographer retains the copyright to their photo. The winning photo will be featured on the 2024 Annual Pass for Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
  • The winner will receive a free Refuge Annual Pass at the beginning of the year.

How to enter

  • Entries must be submitted by the original creator.
  • A high resolution digital copy of your entry can be emailed to
  • A completed entry form must be submitted with your photo. Incomplete entries will not be accepted and will be automatically disqualified. Click here for the entry form.

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