We tell stories that connect people to the wild, motivating them to become part of the regeneration of our planet.
Storytelling for Ocean Protection
We are a team of media and science professionals dedicated to connecting people to the wild through incredible stories backed by scientific knowledge. Our goal is to contribute to the long-term protection of South Africa’s marine environment by making the Great African Seaforest a global icon. Our work includes films, books, exhibitions, marine biology research through living science, and impact campaigns.
Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck founded the Sea Change Trust in 2012. Through hundreds of hours of underwater exploration, they and the Sea Change team have come to understand this unique environment and the community of creatures that lives within it. We also support the call to sustainably increase South Africa’s marine protected areas (MPAs).
Our team’s discoveries have led to a groundbreaking sequence in the BBC’s Blue Planet II TV series; an outdoor photography exhibition seen by an estimated 1 million people; the book Sea Change (to be released globally as Underwater Wild in October 2021); and a documentary feature film, My Octopus Teacher, which has won many international awards.
We have also discovered many new species and animal behaviors and contributed towards, as well as conducted, foundational marine biology research.
Our entire wellbeing is dependent on the natural world. For humans to be healthy, the air, oceans, forests, and all the varied and wonderful beings that we share this planet with need to be healthy.
The Sea Change Project hopes to convey this message through storytelling based on science and direct, immersive experiences in the Great African Seaforest. We hope our stories, knowledge and love of this environment can play a part in rewarming the human heart to the natural world and motivate action that allows the living planet to thrive and regenerate itself.
The Sea Change Project
Co-Founder / Naturalist
Craig Foster is a co-founder of the Sea Change Trust and one of the world’s leading natural history filmmakers. He has dedicated himself to learning the secrets of the Great African Seaforest – the inshore kelp habitat at the South West tip of Africa, his underwater home.
Together with Ross he has written a book on their transformative experiences exploring the little-known coastline and shallow seas of the Cape Peninsula. His film My Octopus Teacher (nominated for an Oscar, and winner of a Golden Panda, Grand Teton and PGA) follows the story of his year with a wild octopus, at the same time honouring his pact to dive 365 times a year.
Through this regular intensive immersion, he has uncovered a plethora of new animal behaviours and species, one of the species is a shrimp which has been named after him: Heteromysis fosteri. He has founded the Sea Change Project to share his love of nature with others.
Co-Founder / Storyteller
Ross is a founding director of the Sea Change Trust. He is a media and events entrepreneur, curator, photographer and writer. Together with Craig, he wrote the book “Sea Change” (Underwater Wild in America), on their transformative experiences in the underwater realm on the Cape Peninsula of South Africa.
He is a co-founder of the Wavescape Festival which has been running for 17 years as the leading ocean culture and conservation event in South Africa. He is also a founding director of Autonomy Paris – The world’s first public focused event to present new urban mobility solutions to policy makers, press and public, in partnership with the City of Paris.
Carina works with the Sea Change Trust to implement its goals and objectives, and oversees the administration and programs. She is hooked on the transformative power of water. She began her career over twenty five years ago in New York as a film producer where she helped launch the Cartoon Network’s morning segment and the Classic Sports Network. She has gone on to produce short films, music videos and commercials, but her real love is for documentaries.
She worked with the Foster Brothers on the award-winning feature documentary, Cosmic Africa and produced a few more films with them.
A few years ago she was called to the sea. Inspired by the Sea Change Project team, she transcended her fears and pushed quite far beyond her comfort level. She continues to swim as often as she can, the cold water leaves her with a sense of deep connection to self and nature.
Swati is one of India’s best known environment journalists. She was the environment editor at NDTV for a decade and her show Born Wild is the longest running wildlife and conservation show on a news channel of which she is presenter, researcher and script writer. She has been awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award, for best environment reporter, twice and the Sanctuary Asia Wind Under the Wings Award. She is also a Carl Zeiss awardee for her reporting on tiger conservation.
Her solo outing as a filmmaker led to her making The Animal Communicator, which is available on Amazon Prime in the US. Swati spends her time between India and South Africa and authored a book, Born Wild: Journeys into the heart of India and Africa. Her main interest is in exploring shared spaces between humans and animals, and believes that greater co-existence in the coming years will be the only way to save the wild.
Filmmaker / Nature Journalist
Pippa Ehrlich is the co-writer, editor, and director of My Octopus Teacher – South Africa’s first Netflix Original documentary. For the last five years, she has been a part of the Sea Change Project, exploring the underwater forests of Cape Town, directing the film, and editing the Sea Change book. The film has garnered attention from celebrities, conservationists, and scientists all over the world, has been nominated for an Oscar, and already received more than 20 international awards, including the prestigious Wildscreen Golden Panda, Jackson Wild’s Grand Teton, the IDA’s Pare Lorentz, the PGA for best Documentary Motion Picture, and a BAFTA.
Prior to joining Sea Change, Pippa worked as an environmental journalist, specialising in the field of marine science and conservation and the intersection between people and the natural world. She has worked with some of the world’s top marine researchers and underwater photographers and been an avid freediver for more than a decade.
Filmmaker / Storyteller
Faine is a documentary filmmaker and environmental storyteller with a deep passion for the ocean. Her love for nature was fostered by her parents through long camping trips deep in the Namib desert and along the west coast of South Africa.
Over the past years she has developed her media skills working with GoPro as a content manager and filmmaker, Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival as a curator, and several documentaries as a director, producer and underwater cinematographer.
She continues to deepen her relationship with the kelp forest, learning, observing and documenting this ecosystem in order to share its beauty and stories and ultimately work for its long-term protection.
Jannes is a marine biologist holding a Masters and Doctoral degree from the University of Cape Town. His interests and talents in the field of natural history are broad and span from documentary photography and film to ecological biodiversity research and conservation. Within the Sea Change Project, Jannes works at the science-media interface as a creative scientific advisor. Jannes’ deepest passion is to learn directly from nature and to turn discoveries into knowledge, a skill that is essential both in marine biology and in storytelling.
Having spent thousands of hours in and near the water with Craig and the team, Jannes is also directing Sea Change Science Marine Biology Lab and is leading the Sea Change Project’s research activities in the Great African Seaforest.
A new recruit to the Sea Change Project team, Sophie is responsible for managing the various Sea Change projects, with a particular interest in films, exhibitions and impact.
She developed her production skills working on commercials and events, and is excited to channel this into the NGO sphere and work on some impactful projects, for the protection of our oceans. Although last amongst her friends to get rid of the armbands, she has since developed a deep love and appreciation for swimming, particularly in the ocean.
Years of lifesaving training in the Atlantic have turned her into a keen cold water swimmer, and inspired her to go even deeper into exploring the ocean through snorkelling, scuba diving, and, recently, free diving.
Chris joined the Sea Change Trust as Chairman in 2020 and brings a strong passion for wilderness conservation and strategic conservation initiatives in the not-for-profit space. He is deeply interested in building local and global collaborative initiatives around the importance of biodiversity and especially marine recovery zones.
Chris is the founder and CEO of Future Purpose, a leadership and career advisory firm which he established after having worked in the leadership and talent management space for more than 20 years.
He was previously a Global Partner with Executive Search firm Spencer Stuart, where he assisted local and global companies in appointing senior executives and Board members.
Before joining Spencer Stuart, Chris was one of the founding Directors of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (1998 – 2002) where he was Director of Executive Education and Head of the Global Executive Development Programme. At GIBS he worked with international business schools and academics in designing cutting-edge executive programmes for South African executives.
His interest in all aspects of leadership, strategic negotiations and executive decision making was developed during his diplomatic career and during which time he represented South Africa in numerous capacities which included five years in New York at the SA Mission to the United Nations, four years working on developing relations with Central Europe and Russia and five years in Paris where he was Counsellor and then Deputy Ambassador to France.
He is Chairman of the Natures Valley Trust which is an NGO dedicated to conservation, conservation education for local communities, marine science and biodiversity research in the Tsitsikamma National Park and the adjacent coastal region of the Western Cape.
He serves on the Board of Columba Leadership which is a South African NGO dedicated to building values based leadership in more than 230 schools across the country.
Levanah was brought into the fold in late 2018 to manage and process the tsunami of orders of our newly published Sea Change hardcover book. Since then “the shop” has become her baby, and her responsibilities have grown to handle all administrative work needed to keep us running. She has honed her administrative, bookkeeping, and production skills over the last 30 years working for Donna Karan in New York, Saatchi & Saatchi in London, and Cape Town Productions in South Africa to name a few.
We work closely with local government, major academic institutions, strategic partners and individuals who share our vision to protect one of Earth’s last wild places, the Great African Seaforest. Here are some of them:
PROF. CHARLES GRIFFITHS
PROF. CHRIS HENSHILWOOD
DR. KERRY SINK
DR. JENNIFER MATHER