Bronwyn Kay is a conservationist born and raised on Kauai in Hawai’i. She has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. She has been involved in conservation efforts in Hawai’i since high school. As President of her school's Nature Club, she organized events for beach cleanups, reforestation, and invasive species remediation on the island. She’s been involved with the NPO Nāpali Coast Ohana, surveying endangered endemic plants and conducting annual reef surveys with Eyes of the Reef in collaboration with Malama Na Apapa, at Nualolo Kai. As an active surfer, she’s been entranced with Hawaii’s marine ecosystem for as long as she can remember. She has shared her passion for the ocean while crewing a tour boat company along Kauai's picturesque Nāpali Coast and sharing her knowledge of conservation efforts and the island's unique reef to visitors. She intends to pursue work directly in conservation in Kauai as a career.
Bronwyn’s Fellowship campaign aimed to expand knowledge of the Pacific Remote Islands Coalition goal to expand the marine protected area around the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). The expansion of this monument would protect important habitat surrounding Howland and Baker Islands, and Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll. The areas of expansion are at threat from deep sea mining and provide habitat to pelagic creatures and unique biological habitats on over 98 seamounts. More well known, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, is an effective marine protected area. It is more easily supported by local communities because of their knowledge of it with its close proximity to the major Hawaiian Islands.
Bronwyn’s campaign addressed the need to increase community knowledge of PRIMNM by targeting a young audience on Kauai in Hawaii. She designed a mural on paper and made community connections with Kukui from 808Urban who digitized the drawing and Seth Womble who donated some paint to the cause through the Nirmana Projects. Bronwyn then oversaw the completion of the mural by middle school students of her alma mater middle school Chiefess Kamakahelei. Bronwyn incorporated youth engagement through the students' involvement and increased their prior nonexistent knowledge of the monument. Bronwyn’s mural design illustrates the pelagic area found in PRIMNM through scenery of seamounts, pelagic sea creatures, seabirds, coral reef, and an atoll.
In the first week of January, Bronwyn’s friend assisted in putting the base coat on the mural and her mom helped chalk in the outline of the mural. In the second week of January, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in the After School program Arts and Craft Club with the assistance of their instructor Mrs. Penny filled in the chalk outline. The students used reference photos in conjunction with Bronwyn’s explanation of the cause and the PRI’s useful documentation to synthesize the project into a tangible effort.
The middle school has a leadership club who announced over the school's morning announcements the progress and completion of the mural. The finished mural also has a QR code to link to the PRIMNM website which contains a petition to support the cause and dually ensures metrics are collected on the individuals reached. The mural had a soft unveiling with its progressive completion through the youth ocean advocates, is accessible in the long term, and is easily understood by a wide audience while creating more engagement. With this fellowship, Bronwyn expanded the network of knowledge on marine protected areas that are further away from local communities and built skills as a leader through expanding a network of youth and adult ocean advocates.
“Through this fellowship, I expanded the network of knowledge on marine protected areas that are further away from local communities and built skills as a leader through expanding a network of youth and adult ocean advocates.”