Passion Through Imagery
For nearly two decades, Ziggy Livnat, MFA, has worked as a professional photographer, conservationist, and educator. Combining his experience as an accomplished SCUBA diver with his passion for coral reef preservation, Ziggy's love of the underwater world is expressed in engaging still images and film. During the last twelve years, Ziggy has devoted his career to the protection of marine environments with the making of several award winning underwater films focusing on ecology, conservation, and education. His photographs can be found in publications such as National Geographic and Advanced Diver Magazine.
St. Croix Environmental Association
While living in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (1995-1996), Ziggy worked successfully with the St. Croix Environmental Association to provide slideshows and lectures on the local marine environment to more than 1,100 elementary school students.
Israeli Ministry of Tourism
Returning home to Israel in 1997, Ziggy was sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to develop and present educational lectures to visitors to the Red Sea. He also wrote articles for the Hebrew edition of National Geographic and several national children's magazines.
In the following years, he served as Director of Sea Studies and Environment at the Arava Elementary School in the Red Sea coastal town of Eilat. In collaboration with the Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Ziggy pioneered an ongoing educational coral adoption project for elementary school students. Simultaneously, he served as the Israeli coordinator for Sustainable Tourism in the Gulf of Aqaba, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) where he worked with environmentalists in Jordan on joint activities to promote peace and awareness in this shared coastal region.
Presentations and Workshops
Since returning to the United States in 2000, Ziggy was awarded a Master's Degree in Fine Arts (MFA) from the renowned School of Visual Arts in New York City. Since then he has given many presentations and workshops for all ages in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and New York where he was honored to give a lecture to biology teachers at the Biodiversity Institute of the American Museum of Natural History.
Learning to Sea
Ziggy's first film Learning to Sea is a stunning underwater visual experience which compares animal evolution and behaviors in two seas separated by over 7,000 miles; the Caribbean and the Red Sea. The film takes you on a tour through both oceans simultaneously, across the sandy plains, over the magical coral reefs, out into the big blue and back again. With amazing portraits of sea creatures and an original score by Esta, the film creates compassion for preservation of our underwater oasis.
In March 2003, National Geographic Today aired an interview with Ziggy featuring a segment of Learning to Sea. The New York State Marine Education Association's annual conference at South Hampton University in New York viewed Learning to Sea as part of their educational activities in May 2003.
Hawai'i Reef Etiquette PSA
In 2004, Ziggy released the Hawai'i Reef Etiquette Public Service Announcement (PSA). This eighteen-month effort, featuring charismatic, vocal Hawaiian sea life was a labor of love. Ziggy reports that "it's not easy to convince the marine life to talk," yet he seems to have the magic touch. This engaging and earnest message charms and educates viewers of all ages, and is available in English and Japanese. It is being shown in many venues across the State of Hawaii to more than two million visitors, school children, and locals annually.
Featuring the characters from the Reef Etiquette PSA and outtakes from over 400 day and night dives in the Hawaiian waters, Ziggy complied his second feature film Hawaiian Blue - The Encounters. This spectacular 45-minute adventure takes you beyond the sandy beaches into the deep blue, floating to the rhythms of Hawaii's musical sons. Meet the marine life surrounding the islands, learn the Hawaiian and English names of the reef inhabitants, and enjoy Ziggy's unique perspective and personalization of this treasured and imperiled undersea world.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
In 2007, Ziggy worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to document an expedition to the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. The work focused on marine research and conservation, featuring interviews with scientists and, of course, stunning footage of the Monument's marine inhabitants.
Caribbean Marine Etiquette PSA
Inspired by the success of the Hawai'i Reef Etiquette PSA, Ziggy recently joined forces again with NOAA to produce a similar film to serve the islands of the Caribbean. This project brought him back to the island of St. Croix in 2009, and its familiar underwater treasures. The Caribbean Marine Etiquette PSA addresses problems facing the local marine environment of the USVI and Puerto Rico, including the fragility of the diverse local aquatic ecosystems. It features the talented "talking" animals of the Caribbean Sea, and stars Academy Award winning actor, Benicio Del Toro. It was produced in both English and Spanish to better serve the diversity of the Caribbean region.
During his most recent period on St. Croix, Ziggy renewed his partnership with the St. Croix Environmental Association to engage in community outreach to the local schools. His presentations evolved from their earlier format of slideshows, to awe-inspiring high definition video. Ziggy donated eighteen presentations to elementary schools across the island, empowering students with the message that "you can make a difference."
And the beat goes on…
Distribution of the Caribbean PSA is expanding throughout the islands. For The Sea Productions will continue to work vigorously to promote education and conservation of coral reefs throughout the world.