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Unique Underwater Video Series to Air on TV2

In an effort to educate the Virgin Islands community about the expansive Virgin Islands marine environment, the University of the Virgin Islands Sea Grant Marine Outreach Program and For The Sea Productions present "Learning to Sea - The USVI," a 13-week underwater experience to be featured during TV2's News 2 program. Beginning Wednesday, July 6, TV2 will air a new three-minute episode during its 7 p.m. news program. A new piece will be featured each Wednesday. Each episode will feature a marine animal in its natural habitat, filmed in the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and accompanied with narration and original music composed by local artists. The series was produced by multiple award-winning underwater filmmaker Ziggy Livnat, the founder of For The Sea Productions.

Livnat, his team and a UVI research team acquired unique footage for this project over the past 18 months, which required many hours in Virgin Islands waters, often at night, and at depths of up to 150 feet.

Christine Settar said viewers will make a visual connection between their lives and the marine environment, which should prompt a better understanding of current marine policies and regulations. Settar is the marine stewardship coordinator of the UVI Sea Grant Marine Outreach Program.

"UVI's Sea Grant Marine Outreach Program and For The Sea productions invite the public to look out for upcoming news articles and to tune in every Wednesday evening to TV2 news, to virtually experience the magnificent underwater world that is right here in our very own backyard," Settar said.

"The islands depend on the ocean in many ways. We need a healthy marine environment," Livnat said. "Understanding what is around us will raise compassion and help us conserve it," he said.

Immediately after broadcast, the current episode will be featured online for viewing at Visit the UVI Today... photo blog to view a promotional video.

In addition to the television series, six newspaper articles will be published over time to inform readers of seasonally relevant happenings in the marine environment, including grouper spawning activities and issues related to lobster and conch fishing.

This educational campaign follows a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration public service announcement entitled "Caribbean Marine Etiquette" launched in April. The video PSAs inspire visitors to the Caribbean islands to become stewards of the marine environment.

"Learning to Sea - The USVI" is a result of collaborations between UVI's Sea Grant Marine Outreach Program and the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, For The Sea Productions, the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, VI Lottery, Coral World Ocean Park, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, the National Science Foundation and the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station.

UVI's Sea Grant Marine Outreach Program was formerly known as the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service.