Kaua`i Monk Seal Watch Program (KMSWP) has developed
numerous outreach projects, most of which are ongoing. All of them are designed
to involve our resident or visitor community, or both, in protecting endangered
Hawaiian Monk Seals (HMS).
KAUA`I ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
In April 2001, KMSWP volunteers began visiting public school classrooms islandwide to present an hour-long program about Hawaiian Monk Seals. By continuing to offer this program annually at the fourth grade level, we plan to reach all of Kaua`i's children, our future residents. The goals of our lesson plan are to raise students' awareness of HMS, and foster the subsequent stewardship of the animals. Thus, we include extensive biological and ecological information, with a conclusive focus on proper human behavior in the presence of seals. Students are also given a summary handout of key HMS facts and behaviors. Each presentation includes photos/slides, sharing of knowledge and experiences relative to the HMS, and plenty of question - and - answer time.
When we began the teaching program in the spring of 2001, a state teacher's strike severely disrupted our schedule. Nonetheless, we reached 85% participation. For the 2002 season, we extended our efforts to include private schools, and since 2003, 100% of Kaua`i's fourth grade classes have hosted the KMSWP presentations. At the completion of our twelfth (2012) school season, we have provided over 12,500 students (including Moloka`i -see below) with the KMSWP program.
The success of the annual education effort has exceeded everyones expectations. Our goal going forward is continued 100% participation annually. Every 12 years represents an entire "school generation", and the base of our future adult population. Many classes have sent us notes, cards, and student artwork --- a few samples of which can be seen from time to time on our Gallery page. KMSWP volunteers thank all the fourth-grade students, their teachers, and administrative staff.
We'd also like to thank Mele Yama, a senior at Kapa`a High School, for choosing KMSWP as a partner for her senior project in 2010. Mele accompanied us to some schools, seal haulouts, meetings, and other KMSWP activities. We especially thank her for a wonderful learning certificate she designed for our fourth graders, with a combination word game/puzzle on the back. KMSWP will be distributing this to our fourth graders in the future as well. Please find the learning certificate and Word game/puzzle links below.
I Commit! Learning Certificate
Word Game Download
KMSWP was fortunately able to begin the same schools' presentations on Moloka`i in 2007. With just 7 fourth grade classes on Moloka`i, we usually complete the teaching project in about 4 days. The program is the same as Kaua`i's, but tailored to suit the specifics of the Moloka`i seal population and residents' experiences.
We send a warm mahalo to all the people of Moloka`i, especially the fourth graders and their teachers, for their kindness and appreciation. Special recognition goes out to Michael Drew, general manager of the Hotel Moloka`i, for his generous, ongoing donation of hotel rooms for our two teachers each February.
EDUCATION-VISITOR OUTREACH PRESENTATIONS
GRAND HYATT RESORT & SPA
Kaua`i Monk Seal Watch Program welcomed a new
partnership with the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa in Po`ipu
during May of 2012. After concluding almost six years of weekly presentations
at the Sheraton Kaua`i Resort in October 2011,
we took a break for several months, while considering new venue options. Grand
Hyatt management/public relations personnel advised us that they were interested
in hosting the KMSWP outreach events, and the KMSWP board gratefully accepted
On May 16, 2012, we began presentations on the Grand Hyatt property, Kaua`i's premier south shore destination, and a favorite spot for many Hawai`i visitors. It is also the "greenest" of our major resort properties policy-wise, and that fits well with our positive environmental message. Each presentation runs 50-60 minutes, and our presenters stay to answer all questions that arise during the program. Similar to the schools' outreach, it includes biological and ecological aspects (such as marine debris) regarding HMS, with a strong emphasis on guidelines for proper human behavior toward seals hauled out on our shores.
For those wishing to attend, we present on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 5:30p. We also present on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9:00a. Location: the Dock restaurant, poolside seating area.
WESTIN PRINCEVILLE OCEAN RESORT VILLAS
In April, 2010, KMSWP was contacted by Denise Wardlow, general manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, about bringing the Hawaiian monk seal presentation to her property. As a former member of the Sheraton Kaua`i Resort management team, she had been involved in arranging the initial program at Sheraton in 2006. After meeting to discuss arrangements, KMSWP made a monthly commitment to provide our outreach program at the Westin property.
We began on June 15, 2010, and continue on the third Tuesday of every month, as a part of Westin's unique "Unwind" program, (Tuesdays being their cultural night). Presentations are held in the Sales Gallery, Building 1, second floor, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, 3838 Wylie Road, Princeville, Hawai`i, 96722.
SHERATON KAUA`I RESORT JANUARY 2006 - OCTOBER 2011
The general manager of the Sheraton Kaua`i Resort
approached KMSWP in October 2005 about bringing an HMS outreach program onto
the property on a regular basis. Since 2000, KMSWP members had done educational
presentations for SKR employees, enabling them to correctly answer questions
from hotel guests about our seals. Also, during nearby high-profile HMS birth
events, KMSWP had offered frequent outreach programs for visitors and locals
on the hotel property. Based on the popularity of these "special event"
programs, Angela Vento, then the general manager at SKR, thought an ongoing
weekly presentation would be a popular addition to the hotel's events for visitors.
After working out the details of location, day of week, time, and length, KMSWP weekly presentations began on January 11, 2006. Our original plan called for a three month trial period to determine whether the program would become permanent, or occasional during special events. The baseline to make a decision was an attendance of 6-10 people per presentation. After the first few months, average audience size was 18-20 and the event became a permanent weekly fixture. Since that time, we have had an attendance low of 1, and a high of 53, with numbers averaging around 20. At the conclusion of our Sheraton run, we had presented to over 6,000 people at the hotel.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS-TELEVISION AND VIDEO
KMSWP has developed nine public service announcements for television and other video outlets.
Our first (produced in 2006) is dedicated to promoting proper human behavior toward Hawaiian Monk Seals. It employs about 30 seconds of stunning National Geographic footage of HMS, which is part of 5-6 minutes of footage graciously licensed to KMSWP for use in public outreach projects. In some cases, it is shown with a 15-second coda promoting the Wednesday night KMSWP presentation at Sheraton Kaua`i Resort.
YouTube Video Coming Soon
In the fall of 2008, KMSWP debuted a series of eight, 30-second spots on marine debris, focusing on the timeline degradation of various objects in our ocean. The title of our overall campaign is "Marine Debris Kills" and this specific project is entitled "Do You Want This In Your Ocean?" One of the spots is performed in Hawaiian language by a student at Ke Kula Ni`ihau O Kekaha, with subtitled translation graciously provided by kumu (teacher) Hokulani Cleeland. Mahalo to all of our performers, and especially our videographer, Katie Beer, for her dedicated work on our TV projects.
The public service announcements are shown on a pro bono/space available basis by three of the four major network affiliates statewide, as well as PBS, and numerous cable channels courtesy of Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Until recently, all were shown on the regular 90-minute loop of Kaua`i's visitor information channel, KVIC, Channel 3.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS-RADIO
In partnership with KONG Radio Group, KMSWP has produced nine, 30-second radio spots which air regularly on KONG's Kaua`i stations---KONG AM 570, KONG FM 93.5, and KSHK Shaka 103. The first seven, narrated by various KMSWP members, individually promote positive examples of human behavior to ensure survival of HMS. These were written and recorded in 2008 and are still heard regularly.
KMSWP Radio PSAs, Produced 2008
In the spring of 2010, two additional spots were produced with
voiceovers performed by two Kaua`i fourth graders
from King Kaumuali`i Elementary School. One focuses
on preventing disturbance by humans and the other emphasizes the critical need
to keep dogs away from resting seals. We thank our wonderful student presenters,
and their suppportive teaching and administrative staff at King K for their
contributions to this project. These spots are now replicated annually, as a
joint KMSWP-KONG Radio Group project, using fourth-grade students from a different
Kaua`i elementary school each year.
KMSWP Student Radio PSAs, Produced 2010
Tourism is Kaua`i's foremost industry, bringing thousands of people to our coastline monthly. A tiny population of endangered native Hawaiian Monk Seals call Kaua`i's shores home. The resultant mix is tenuous and is a primary focus of our work at KMSWP.
In late September 2000, KMSWP initiated a program designed to draw Kaua`i's visitor industry into the monk seal preservation efforts. We asked hotel and condominium managers to place in each guest room a notice containing proper behavioral information for visitors approaching seals at the beach. Many have graciously donated the printing and distribution costs. They quickly realized the mutual benefits of preserving a species as well as a major tourist attraction. At present, our information is available in over 2,000 guest units.
Starting in November 2000, three of our major tourist-oriented publications agreed to print the same guidelines. A fourth publication joined the effort en November 2001. They each print viewing information on a pro bono, space available basis. We are steadily developing plans to include other sectors of the tourism industry.
Information is now available online for various types of businesses in the visitor industry, accompanied by generous endorsements from our late Kaua`i Mayor Bryan Baptiste, former Kaua`i Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and Kaua`i Visitors Bureau Executive Director Susan Kanoho.