Found Objects Contest - 2020


Surfrider Found Objects Contest


From September 14th - October 16th, the Surfrider Foundation presents the 4th annual Found Objects photo contest. Found Objects is an opportunity for people to share items that they have found [and cleaned-up!] off of their local beach or waterway. Participants are encouraged to take a photo of the objects found on the beach, arranged in a creative and artistic way AND share a story about the photograph. This story can include activities, memories or what Contestant (and their community) are doing to protect that beach.

To submit an entry, post the photo to your Instagram or Twitter account, write your story, and then tag @surfrider and use the hashtag #SurfriderFound to be entered in the contest.

Scroll down to check out some previous entries and get inspired!


Rules And Judging



1st Prize – $800 Value
Firewire board 

2nd Prize – $400 Value

3rd prize – $200 Value
Ocean-Friendly Beach Kit: REN and Raw Elements Reef-Friendly Sunscreen, SF Water Bottle, SF Hat, Collab Igloo Cooler, Nomadix Towel, Stasher Bags

Photo Tips

  • Trash/Debris — Look for a variety of trash and debris: unique shapes, sizes, & colors

  • Composition — When composing the photo, arrange the items in a creative way and shoot the photo from above

  • Color Use — Look for unusual colored objects that will stand out amongst the neutral sand color

  • Textures — Try and find 3D objects or objects with unique textures which will stand out in the photograph

  • Story — Make sure to include a clever, funny, or unique story as the caption of your photo!

How can I safely cleanup my local beach?

  • Be responsible! If you are feeling sick or generally unwell, please stay indoors and heal.
  • What to bring: mask/cloth face covering, gloves, 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, grabbers (if you have them), 2 separate collection receptacles.
  • Check with your local authority on beach use and access restrictions. Select a location where you can maintain a minimum physical distance of 6 feet.  Avoid crowded areas at crowded times.
  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public per CDC recommendations.
  • Wear gloves. We cannot stress this safety precaution enough. Viruses can live on hard surfaces, and individuals should exercise extreme caution when collecting litter. Wearing gloves discourages you from touching your face or face covering. If using reusable gloves, be sure to properly sanitize between uses.  Effective sanitization of a reusable glove depends on the material. Individuals should comply with CDC and EPA guidance on how to effectively sanitize reusable items against COVID-19.
  • Grabbers are a good way to minimize contact between your gloves and trash items. Sanitize these after use and before transport or storage.
  • Refrain from touching your face or public surfaces during the cleanup.
  • Improperly discarded Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes, or other medical waste should be handled and properly discarded following very strict protocol. It’s important that all PPE items collected are properly disposed of following CDC and EPA guidance. If you feel comfortable handling such items, use grabbers and place the PPE items in the receptacle separate from recyclables collected. Used PPE should be tightly sealed in a trash bag and discarded in a lined and secure trash receptacle. PPE items should not be recycled due to possible contamination.
  • Remember to use hand sanitizer after the cleanup is over, then wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds as soon as you’re able to do so.
  • Remember to properly disinfect all reusable equipment before and after the cleanup using an EPA-approved product for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Learn more