Maui High School Stormwater Presentations

Our Highways Maui District team met with the 11th and 12th graders at Maui High School on April 9th and 10th, conducting two days of Stormwater presentations for over 100 students. Alongside exploring Stormwater concepts, our team discussed various careers in the stormwater management sector, offering insights into exciting professional paths within this field and highlighting the diverse opportunities available in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through hands-on activities exploring sieves and filter fabrics, students not only learned about the different factors engineers consider when selecting or designing stormwater management strategies for construction projects but also gained valuable knowledge about potential career paths and the STEM journey. A heartfelt thank you to Maui High School for hosting us!

Montessori Upper and Lower Elementary School Stormwater Presentations

Highways Maui District presented to the upper and lower elementary students at the Montessori School of Maui on April 1st and 4th, delivering two days of stormwater presentations to over 100 students. For the lower elementary group, we brought the interactive EnviroScape and Stormdrain models, while for the upper elementary, we introduced activities such as exploring sieves and examining various filter fabrics. This hands-on approach allowed students to dive into Maui’s stormwater system firsthand and explore the various aspects engineers consider when choosing or designing stormwater management strategies. A big mahalo to the Montessori School of Maui for having us!

Ho’okele Elementary School Engineering Night

Highways Maui District made their way to Ho’okele Elementary School’s on March 28th for Engineering Night! Our team introduced engaging activities, such as exploring sieves for separating materials and examining various filter fabrics. Students brainstormed ideas that engineers consider when selecting or designing stormwater management practices for construction projects. A huge thank you to Ho’okele Elementary School for the invitation!

Q1 2024 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: Maui Lavender

Highways Maui District is delighted to acknowledge and celebrate Maui Lavender as the recent recipient of the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award. This recognition highlights their significant contributions to the Adopt-A-Highway program, and we applaud their valuable service.

For nearly 20 years Cathy Toda and Robert Spangler of Maui Lavender have helped clean a two-mile section of Haleakala Crater Road, a rural stretch of switchbacks located just over 4,000 feet above sea level. “It’s love for the neighborhood,” Toda said, when asked about their long-standing volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program. “We drive our mule or the truck and we go up and do our thing and we just really enjoy it.”

While Adopt-A-Highway groups commit to conducting four cleanups a year, Toda and Spangler have been picking up trash along their adopted route monthly – one reason the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Highways Maui District are very pleased to recognize Ms. Toda and Mr. Spangler for their dedication to the Adopt-A-Highway program as well as their commitment to the community and environment.

Check out their feature in MauiNow and the Maui News!

Waiheʻe Elementary School 5th Grade Presentations

Highways Maui District engaged with the 5th graders at Waihe’e Elementary School on March 5th and 6th, delivering two days of immersive Stormwater presentations to over 80 students. Our team introduced the interactive Enviroscape and Storm drain models, offering a hands-on learning opportunity to explore Maui’s Stormwater system. Students had fun learning about the different pollutants that can come in contact with Stormwater runoff and engaged in demonstrations showing how these pollutants can be conveyed within a watershed. A big mahalo to Waihe’e Elementary School for having us!

Makawao Elementary School 2nd Grade Presentations

Highways Maui District headed back to Makawao Elementary School on February 27th with an engaging Stormwater presentation for a second grade class. Using our interactive activities, our team guided the students through the fascinating world of Stormwater pollution and prevention. From tracing the journey of pollutants in watersheds to brainstorming creative solutions for cleaner drains, the second graders actively participated in a hands-on learning experience. A special thank you to Makawao Elementary and Mr. Gushikuma for hosting us!

Makawao Elementary School 3rd Grade Presentations

Highways Maui District made a splash at Makawao Elementary School on February 23rd by conducting four learning sessions for the 3rd grade class. Our team brought hands-on learning to life with the Enviroscape and Storm Drain models, guiding students through the different types of Stormwater pollution and prevention. Students learned about the paths of pollutants in watersheds and collaborated on ideas for keeping drains cleaner. A big shoutout to Makawao Elementary for the warm welcome! 

Kalama Intermediate School GURLTEK Presentation

On January 23rd, Highways Maui District had the opportunity to present to GURLTEK, a female STEM club at Kalama Intermediate School. Our presenters shared their personal STEM journeys, gave a brief presentation on stormwater management, and showcased Maui’s storm drain system using the EnviroScape and Storm Drain Model. The interactive session aimed to inspire the students while highlighting the importance of responsible stormwater practices. Highways Maui District is honored to have been a part of GURLTEK’s journey into STEM. We hope that our presentation sparked curiosity, ignited passion, and left a lasting impact on these bright young minds. We look forward to more opportunities to foster STEM interest.

Q4 2023 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: MEO Kaohi Youth Services

Maui District proudly acknowledges and celebrates the MEO Kaohi Youth Program, our newest recipient of the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award, in recognition of their volunteers’ valuable service to the Adopt-A-Highway program!

Since joining the Adopt-A-Highway initiative, the MEO Kaohi Youth Program has consistently organized cleanup events throughout the year. Drawing the majority of their volunteers from their youth groups, each cleanup involves a dedicated team of nine individuals who removed 8 bags of rubbish, on average, during each cleanup along the state highways on Molokai.

Mela Akana, the program coordinator for MEO Kaohi Youth Services, shares, “When we asked our youth why they participate in Adopt-A-Highway, some expressed that it makes them feel good to take care of their ‘aina, and it’s a way for them to give back.”

A heartfelt MAHALO to the MEO Kaohi Youth Program for setting a shining example for Maui County’s youth through their unwavering commitment to the Adopt-A-Highway program and their contributions to preserving and protecting our island environment!

Check out their feature in MauiNow and The Maui News!

Kamaliʻi Elementary School 2nd Grade Presentations

On January 17th, the Highways Maui District team visited Kamali’i Elementary School and presented for their 2nd-grade students. Presenters shared information about Stormwater runoff when it rains, identifying potential sources of pollution, and ways to prevent it. After the presentation, each class played a Kahoot quiz to test what they learned and split into groups for hands-on activities. These activities included observing how pollution moves through the island and exploring a model of the storm drain system on Maui.

Kalama Intermediate School 8th Grade Presentations

On December 5th and 6th, the Highways Maui District team paid a visit to Kalama Intermediate School, engaging with more than 100 8th-grade students. Our presenters held sessions with six classes, teaching students about stormwater runoff, identifying potential sources of pollutants, and discussing preventive measures against runoff contamination. Following the presentations, each class participated in a Kahoot quiz to assess their understanding before breaking into groups for hands-on activities at two stations. These activities illustrated the movement of pollutants through a watershed and featured a model depicting the storm drain system in Maui.

Kamaliʻi Elementary School 5th Grade Presentations

Highways Maui District was invited to present to the 5th graders at Kamaliʻi Elementary School. Our team met with the students on November 22nd for three informative sessions on stormwater management. All three classes dove into the topic of stormwater pollution and explored ways to prevent it. The students had a great time interacting with our hands-on models, playing Kahoot, gaining insights into the movement of stormwater pollution within a watershed, and collaboratively brainstorming solutions to prevent pollution from entering the storm drain system.

Q3 2023 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: MEO Youth Services

Highways Maui District is pleased to announce that MEO Youth Services has received the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award in recognition of their continuous service to the Adopt-A-Highway program.

MEO Youth Services has been an integral part of our program since 2016, consistently demonstrating its commitment to the community and environmental stewardship. Each of their cleanup initiatives draws an average of 25 volunteers, with a significant portion coming from their youth groups. Their collective efforts result in the removal of an average of 20 bags of trash at every cleanup event along their designated stretch of Maui Veterans Highway.

Dane Ka’ae, MEO Youth Services Program Director, said their volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway Program stems from wanting to teach kids how to be volunteers and the importance of giving back to the community.

Mahalo MEO Youth Services for your consistency and dedication to the Adopt-A-Highway Program and for helping protect our island environment. Keep up the good work!

Q2 2023 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipients:  Ensign Hawaiian Art & Hypnosis Hawaii

Highways Maui District is pleased to recognize Ensign Hawaiian Art and Hypnosis Hawaii, our newest No Ka Oi Highway Hui Awardees in recognition of their continuous service to the Adopt-A-Highway program!

Ensign Hawaiian Art and Hypnosis Hawaii are made up solely of a husband and wife duo, the Ensign family. Since 2016 the Ensign family has conducted a cleanup once every few months on their segment of Hana Highway. The two volunteers remove an average of 10 bags per cleanup event. 

Mahalo to the Ensign family for their consistency and dedication to helping protect our island environment. Keep up the outstanding work!

Check out their feature in Maui Now!

Montessori School of Maui Elementary School Presentations

Highways Maui District was invited to present for Montessori School of Maui students. Our presenters met with the upper elementary students on April 25th and the lower elementary school students on May 16th. Both the two classes of upper elementary students and the three classes of lower elementary students were taught about stormwater pollution and what can be done to prevent it. The students also had fun engaging with our interactive models to visualize stormwater pollution movement throughout a watershed and brainstorming stormwater design solutions at both the street level and end-of-pipe.

Waihe’e Elementary School 5th Grade Presentations

Highways Maui District visited Waihe’e Elementary School on May 9th and 11th to present to all their fifth-grade students. Five classes of students met with our presenters to learn about stormwater runoff, potential sources of stormwater pollutants, and what we can do to prevent runoff contamination. After the presentation, each class tested their knowledge with a Kahoot quiz and broke into groups for a station rotation of hands-on activities. The station activities demonstrated pollutant movement through a watershed and involved an engineering exercise aimed at designing stormwater solutions.

UHMC Earth Day Celebration

To continue the Earth Month celebrations, Highways Maui District hosted an outreach activity booth at the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC) Earth Day event. UHMC’s Student ʻOhana for Sustainability club partnered with the Maui Huliau Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a focus on environmental education to host an expanded annual Earth Day celebration on the campus Great Lawn. The free event featured campus sustainability tours, outreach booths by more than 35 local nonprofits and government agencies, giant yard games, food from Maui Fresh Streatery food truck, and more. We enjoyed engaging with community members and discussing at-home best management practices to Protect Our Water.

Maui Ocean Center Earth Day Activity Booth

On Earth Day, April 22, 2023 Highways Maui District was invited to host an activity booth at the Maui Ocean Center’s Earth Day event. The family-friendly event was discounted for Hawaii residents and featured numerous educational activity booths by Maui Ocean Center’s community partners. We had a great time engaging with community members and demonstrating stormwater pollution in a watershed with our hands-on models.

Kindergarten Presentations at Kihei Elementary School 

On April 13, 2023 Highways Maui District public education personnel had the pleasure of presenting to all five kindergarten classes at Kihei Elementary School. The 125 students learned about stormwater runoff, potential sources of stormwater pollutants, and how these pollutants can reach our waterways. They also learned some everyday best management practices to help prevent stormwater pollution and the importance of protecting our water resources. Students were able to engage with Highways Maui District’s hands-on watershed and storm drain model to help them visualize how pollutants can be carried into waterways by stormwater runoff. 

Q1 2023 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: Duke’s Beach House Maui

Highways Maui District is pleased to recognize Duke’s Beach House Maui with the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award in recognition of their continuous service to the Adopt-A-Highway program. 

Duke’s Beach House has been a dedicated partner of the Adopt-A-Highway program since 2017. Over the years, they have consistently gathered about 15 volunteers every few months and removed an average of 25 bags of trash during each cleanup along our State Highways.

Mahalo Duke’s Beach House Maui for your consistency and dedication to helping protect our island environment. Keep up the outstanding work!

Check Out their feature in Maui Now and The Maui News!

UHMC World Water Day Celebration

In partnership with the County of Maui, Highways Maui District celebrated World Water Day on March 22, 2023, at the University of Hawaii Maui College. The event, organized by the College’s Sustainability Committee, aimed to educate community members and students alike about issues that impact Maui’s water resources. Highways Maui District and County of Maui personnel hosted an outreach activity booth to demonstrate the effects of stormwater pollution, and what we can all do to minimize it. We had fun engaging with the public and like-minded organizations, all with a shared goal: Protect Our Water. 

Q4 2022 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: Kawela Plantation Homeowners’ Association

The Kawela Plantation Homeowners’ Association on the island of Molokai has received the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award from the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation Highways Division – Maui District, in recognition of their volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program. 


The association’s homeowners and staff members conducted a cleanup every few months since signing up for the Adopt-A-Highway program, involving approximately 10 volunteers per cleanup event. On average, each of their cleanups removed 20 bags of trash from their segment of Kamehameha V Highway.

We sincerely appreciate their consistency and dedication to the Adopt-A-Highway program and to Molokai’s environment.

Mahalo Kawela Plantation Homeowners’ Association!

Check out their feature in Maui Now and The Molokai Dispatch!

5th Grade Presentations at Kamali’i Elementary School

On October 21, 2022 Maui District instructors presented to four classes of 5th grade students at Kamali’i Elementary School. The presentations were part of the fifth grade unit on water pollution and marine debris. In total, 53 students and 6 teachers were educated on the effects polluted stormwater can have on marine environments and some everyday practices that can reduce potential stormwater pollution. 

These presentations included a Kahoot quiz and a hands-on stormwater pollution simulation with Maui District’s coastal watershed model.

Mahalo to Kamali’i Elementary School and their 5th grade teachers for inviting us to present!

Using Mineral Only Sunscreens is One Way We Can Help Coral Reefs: Here’s What Else We Can Do

Coral reefs are the most remarkable and diverse marine ecosystems on Earth, providing a home to over 25% of all marine life (~35,000–60,000 species), many still unknown to science. Coral reefs are fragile and very sensitive to changes in their environment.

On October 1st , 2022 the County of Maui Ordinance banning non-mineral sunscreens which kill coral went into effect. This ordinance will protect coral when we are swimming, but what else can we do to help support coral reefs while on land?

In urban landscapes, rainwater and water from our homes flow across concrete and asphalt, through streets, and parking lots. Instead of soaking into the ground the water picks up harmful pollutants such as nutrients, pesticides, petroleum, and soil ultimately flowing into the ocean. This water is called stormwater.

When polluted stormwater flows into the nearshore environment, it causes harm and can kill coral reefs and other marine life. What can we do to protect coral reefs from stormwater pollution?

House hold fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that make their way into stormwater, can result in more nutrients reaching the ocean. Nitrogen pollution in marine waters causes oxygen depletion and overgrowth of algae and seaweed which smothers coral by blocking light and promoting coral diseases. Herbicides destroy and damage the coral reef symbionts zooxanthellae algae, which are necessary for coral reefs to live and grow. We can help by reducing our use of house hold fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, and making sure they don’t reach stormwater drains.

Coastal development and construction can lead to heavy amounts of sediment. Sediment run off from farms and lands settle on reefs and smother them by blocking light. Have you ever seen brown water in the ocean? That is usually caused by large amounts of sediment from land runoff. If sediment covers corals for more than 1-2 days, they will die. We can help by making sure we are not contributing sediment and soils from our yards and landscapes to stormwater runoff.

Rubbish such as old fishing gear, plastic bottles and bags which settle on reefs can block sunlight, damage and break corals. Small pieces of degraded plastic can be ingested by coral and other reef animals, blocking their digestive tracts and killing them. Remember, it takes 150 years for a plastic bottle to decompose! We can help by making sure rubbish and trash ends up in the right place, not the ocean.

Each of these threats negatively impacts the health of coral reefs. Coral reefs can take hundreds of years to form because they grow very slowly. If damage continues at the current rate worldwide, over half of all coral reefs could disappear in our lifetimes.

So, in addition to wearing reef-safe sunscreen, also keep in mind your actions on land, and what you are contributing to stormwater drains. And remind your family and friends! We are all a part of this living community, which includes corals too!

Citations:

El-Naggar, H. A. (2020). Human Impacts on Coral Reef Ecosystem. In E. R. Rhodes, & H. Naser (Eds.), Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences. IntechOpen. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.88841

Q3 2022 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: Monkeypod Kitchen

Monkeypod Kitchen has been recognized as the third 2022 recipient of the No Ka oi Highway Hui Award for the business’ multiyear and multi-segment volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program!

The popular restaurant founded by renowned Chef Peter Merriman has two locations on the island – inWailea and Ka`anapali – as well as two Adopt-A-Highway segments: between mile markers 3.5 to 5.5along Pi`ilani Highway,and from mile markers 16 to 18 along Honoapi`ilani Highway.

Tori Hudson, general manager of the Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea, said their volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program stems from one of their restaurant’s seven brand values: Leave the world a
better place.

Monkeypod Kitchen is a great community partner. They’ve been very consistent in organizing at least four cleanups annually for both of their segments, typically involving 20 volunteers who remove 20 to 30 bags of trash each time, and sending in their cleanup data, which helps with overall program management. We’re very appreciative of their contributions to the program and to Maui’s environment!

Mahalo Monkeypod Kitchen for all of your hard work!

Check out their features in Maui NowThe Maui News, and Lahaina news.

Q2 2022 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Recipient: Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club

The Adopt-A-Highway program recognized Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club as the second No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award recipient of 2022!

Located in Kaanapali Resort on Nohea Kai Drive, Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club began participating in the Adopt-A-Highway Program about a decade ago. During each cleanup event, their volunteers have typically picked up about 20 bags of trash along Honoapiilani Highway between Kahana and Kapalua. Removing roadway litter helps to prevent pollutants from entering and contaminating Maui’s ocean and other sensitive ecosystems.

“Giving back to the community is very important to us as a company,” said Justin Paki, safety and security manager at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club. “It’s also a great activity to get our managers out of the office and we always conduct our scheduled cleanup events, rain or shine.”
In addition to its volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program, Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club works to incorporate eco-friendly practices in its daily operations, including participation in the Audubon Society Green Lodging Program and carrying out other community service projects, such as food distributions during the pandemic.

Mahalo to Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club and keep up the great work!

Check out their features in The Maui News and Lahaina News.

Big Turnout in Adopt-A-Highway Cleanups for Earth Day 2022!

Earth Day 2022 proved to be one for the books for Adopt-A-Highway cleanup efforts across Maui County! More than 200 bags of trash were cleared from Maui District Highways by 216 volunteers during Earth Day cleanup events. The Adopt-Highway program extends a big MAHALO to the organizers and participants for all their hard work. These efforts help us to achieve our goal of preventing the discharge of stormwater pollutants, protecting the water in our community, and the health of our environment.

2022 Q1 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Bowers + Kubota

The Adopt-A-Highway program on Maui has named Bowers + Kubota the first No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award recipient of 2022.

Bowers + Kubota provides construction management, architectural and engineering design firm services throughout the state, and has offices on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island. For well over a decade, the company’s employees have participated in Adopt-A-Highway cleanups across the islands.

“Bowers + Kubota operates on a set of core values that we call SWIFT: Superior Quality, Wellness, Integrity, Family and Teamwork. Everything about our company is built on these principles,” said Todd Niemann, senior associate. “Participating in programs like Adopt-A-Highway is just another way we act on our values and show that it’s not about taking, it’s about giving back.”

Niemann said that community service activities like their Adopt-A-Highway cleanups also serve to promote company bonding outside of the office. “We always have a lot of fun during our cleanup events. We love being out there in the community, getting honks of appreciation as everyone drives by. It’s a very rewarding feeling.”

Organizations in Maui County interested in signing up for Adopt-A-Highway can search for available highway segments at HWY-M’s stormwater website, www.stormwatermaui.com. Applications, cleanup forms, a safety training video, and program information are also available on the website.

Read their feature in Maui Now!

2021 Q4 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: HSTA Molokai

For more than two decades, members of the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association’s Molokaʻi Chapter have helped protect their island by removing unsightly and environmentally damaging trash along Maunaloa Highway.

Due to its sustained dedication, the chapter received the Adopt-A-Highway No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Highways Division – Maui District (HWY-M). The chapter is the first from Molokaʻi to receive the award.

“HSTA Molokai’s adopted section of highway runs near Kaunakakai Harbor, and if you’ve ever enjoyed how naturally beautiful that area is, Molokai’s teachers certainly deserve credit for helping to keep it that way,” said Ty Fukuroku, program manager, Environmental Management, HWY-M.

HSTA Molokai Chapter President Tes Kaulia acknowledged the contributions of her fellow teacher, community members and former HSTA Molokai Chapter presidents for their volunteerism and years of involvement with the Adopt-A-Highway program.

“I’d like to recognize all the HSTA members who gave of their time on the weekends to meet up with their colleagues from various schools on our island to clean up our highways,” Kaulia said. “I also would like to recognize other individuals who are not a part of our HSTA Molokai Chapter but are always alongside the highway picking up trash going into our small Kaunakakai town.”

Check out their feature in Maui Now!

Kamehameha Schools Maui Virtual Presentation

On October 20, 2021, HWY-M instructor, Dr. Daniel Garcia, gave a virtual presentation to elementary students at Kamehameha Schools Maui. Dr. Garcia presented to two classes, each class containing 20 students and one teacher. During the virtual presentations, he explained how pollutants on roadways can be carried by stormwater and pollute Maui’s water bodies, like its streams and ocean. Students were also provided with ways in which they can make a difference and contribute to protecting our water. The presentation included an interactive Kahoot! quiz, as well as a live demonstration of Stormwater Maui’s new Enviroscape coastal watershed model. 

Q3 2021 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Kamehameha Schools Maui

Kamehameha Schools Maui (KSM) has been awarded the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award for its active volunteerism for Adopt-A-Highway, a community-based program of the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation Highways Division – Maui District (HWY-M). Since 2016, faculty, staff and students from KSM have cleaned up a section of Kula Highway between mile markers 8 and 10, typically drawing over 30 participants each time. “Our kupuna exhibited great ha’aha’a (humility), so we are humbled to be recognized for this contribution to our island home,” said Dr. Scott Parker, headmaster of KSM. “We don’t expect to be honored for our work in the community – our satisfaction comes from knowing that we’re doing our part to shepherd the ‘aina for the next generation to enjoy.”  Established in 1996, KSM is part of the Kamehameha Schools Educational System, with more than 1,000 students in grades K-12 enrolled at the KSM campus in Pukalani. Grounded in Hawaiian and Christian values, the accredited and independent school is renowned for its incorporation of Hawaiian cultural principles as a foundation for its curriculum.  

Organizations on Maui interested in signing up for Adopt-A-Highway can search for available highway segments at HWY-M’s stormwater website, www.stormwatermaui.com. Applications, cleanup forms, a safety training video, and program information are also available on the website.

Q2 2021 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Notestone Crew

When Hana resident Gale Notestone signed up to become an Adopt-A-Highway volunteer more than 20 years ago, his children were “young and small.” Today, they’re grown up and ready to take over what has now become a multigenerational family commitment. The Notestone Crew’s longevity is one of the reasons the group was selected to receive the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award from the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Highways Division – Maui District (HWY-M). The Notestone Crew typically has six volunteers at each of their cleanups. Most are family members, joined by neighbors and friends from the Hana area. The group recently renewed their Adopt-A-Highway agreement with HWY-M, with Gale’s son Micah Notestone taking over as their lead Adopt-A-Highway volunteer.

Check out their feature in Maui Now!

Want to get involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

Q1 2021 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Nā Hoaloha ‘Ekolu

Congratulations to Nā Hoaloha ‘Ekolu, our 2021 first quarter recipient of the No Ka Oi Highway Hui award! This outstanding restaurant group, which consists of Old Lāhainā Lūʻau, Star Noodle, Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, and Aloha Mixed Plate, has participated in our Adopt-A-Highway program for almost three decades! Over the years their clean-up events have removed over 1,000 bags of rubbish from their section of Honoapiʻilani Highway. Nā Hoaloha ‘Ekolu stated that participation in community programs like Adopt-A-Highway is an expression of their Hawaiian values, including poʻokela, which is excellence; aloha, which is love, mālama ʻāina, which is love for the land,  as well as hoʻokipa, which is hospitality. By removing litter and other pollutants from our environment, Adopt-A-Highway partners do a tremendous amount of good for Maui and its ecosystems. We’re very pleased to honor Nā Hoaloha ‘Ekolu for their ongoing contributions.

Check out their feature in Maui NowLahaina News, and The Maui News!

Want to get involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

Q4 2020 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: The Hula Grill Ohana

Congratulations to The Hula Grill Ohana for receiving our No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award for the fourth quarter of 2020! Since 2008 they have carried out dozens of clean-up events on their section of highway in West Maui. During some of their clean-ups, the Hula Grill Ohana has filled 90 trash bags with rubbish found along the highway. If not for their hard work and dedication, all that trash would have remained in the environment, where it can harm our island’s ecosystems. For over a decade they have shown their commitment to the Adopt-A-Highway program and we greatly appreciate their contribution to the community!

Check out their feature in Maui NowThe Maui News, and Lahaina News!

Want to get involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

Baldwin High School Virtual Biology Presentation

On December 3, 2020, HWY-M’s instructor, Dr. Daniel Garcia, gave a virtual presentation to Baldwin High School 10th grade Biology students. This class consisted of 10 students and 1 teacher, with the presentation focusing on the effects stormwater pollution can have on ecosystems, both locally and globally. Dr. Garcia explained how pollutants on roadways can be carried by stormwater into Maui’s water bodies, like streams and the ocean, and the ways in which these pollutants can harm wildlife in these habitats. Discussions also included HWY-M’s work to mitigate and prevent pollutants from entering Maui’s storm drainage system and how students and their families can be stormwater conscious in their daily routines. In addition, Dr. Garcia also provided insight into prospective career paths in the field of stormwater management to help inspire more stormwater professionals in the future.

Stormwater Maui Is Back in the Classroom…Virtually

On Thursday, October 29th, Stormwater Maui was invited to give a presentation to students in an Introduction to STEM class at Baldwin High School virtually. The class consisted of 14 students in grades 9-12 and 1 teacher. The presentation was given as part of the class’s unit on pollution. During his presentation, our instructor, Dr. Daniel Garcia, informed students of the different types of pollutants that can be carried into Maui’s streams and the ocean by stormwater runoff. He also explained the ways these pollutants affect the water quality, ecosystems, and the organisms that inhabit Maui’s waters. Dr. Garcia’s presentation also summarized some of the things that HWY-M does to help mitigate potential stormwater pollutants and the different types of best management practices students can implement at home to be stormwater conscious in their everyday lives.

This was one of the first school “visits” the Stormwater Maui team has done since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently working on adapting our teaching strategy to be able to reach more schools and students virtually given today’s unique challenges. To schedule a virtual presentation from our team, please email ty.h.fukuroku@hawaii.gov.

Q3 2020 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: The Hana Lava Tube

Congratulations to The Hana Lava Tube for earning our No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award for the third quarter of 2020! While they are not the largest of our Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups, they are among the most dedicated and consistent. They have held more than 35 clean-ups since 2007, and we greatly appreciate their efforts to keep Maui beautiful and free of litter. Organized by Chuck Thorne, The Hana Lava Tube group offers self-guided tours of an ancient cave formation in Hana called Kaeleku Cavern. While their Adopt-A-Highway group usually consists of just one or two volunteers, that does not stop them from doing their part to help protect Maui’s environment by preventing rubbish from entering the ocean. We are excited to recognize The Hana Lava Tube group for their continued service to this program.

Check out their feature in Maui Now!

Want to get involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

Maui’s Stormwater Educational Program Goes Virtual

On September 22nd, Dr. Daniel Garcia, Civil Engineer for Maui’s Environmental Management section, was invited to deliver a lecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s Graduate Seminar. The lecture was delivered via Zoom, a program that allows multiple people to meet over the internet simultaneously, and an indicator of the unique times we are all currently living through. Dr. Garcia’s lecture focused on how water quality can be impacted by stormwater pollution and what the Department of Transportation, Highways Division, Maui District (HWY-M) does to mitigate potential pollutants that may be carried off State highways by stormwater runoff. Dr. Garcia’s lecture also touched on the different types of structures that constitute Maui’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and the six Minimum Control Measures the HWY-M team has implemented as part of their Stormwater Management Plan. While we would love to continue our stormwater educational programs in classrooms this year, the HWY-M team is learning to adapt to the unique challenges we face to continue educating the public.

Q2 2020 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Kihei-Wailea Medical Center

Congratulations to the Kihei-Wailea Medical Center for earning our No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award for the second quarter of 2020! The Kihei-Wailea Medical Center first became involved with the Adopt-A-Highway Program in 2006. Its staff has taken remarkable care of their adopted portion of the highway along North Kīhei Road near the Maalaea mud flats and Kealia Pond for 14 years! On average, they’ve organized 15 to 25 volunteers to pick up as many as 30 bags of rubbish at a time. That goes a long way toward reducing pollutants from entering the ocean and contaminating our environment. We are pleased to recognize them for their exceptional commitment to this program!

Check out this story featured in Maui Now!

Want to become involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

We’re Now On Instagram!

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Instagram page! Here at Stormwater Maui, our overall goal is to protect our water and you; Maui residents and visitors! A large part of our program is providing the Maui community with tips and information about how to reduce stormwater pollution. Please give us a follow to learn more about stormwater awareness, our ongoing programs, upcoming educational and training events and more!

Follow @stormwatermaui on Instagram here!

Welcome to Maui District Storm Water Management Program

The Maui District Storm Water Management Program Plan (Maui District SWMP Plan) establishes a manageable and comprehensive program for all State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Highways and Harbors Divisions (HDOT) activities and entities that have a relationship with Maui District’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (Maui District MS4). As such, this document describes the system of programs and activities that the HDOT will undertake to reduce the discharge of storm water pollutants, to the maximum extent practicable from the Maui District MS4. Ultimately, the goal of the Maui District SWMP is to protect water quality and to satisfy the conditions of Maui District’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Small MS4 General Permit for Kahului, Maui (Permit File No. HI14KE352).

Q1 2020 No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award Recipient: Hawaiian Electric – Maui County

We are thrilled to announce that Hawaiian Electric – Maui County has received our No Ka Oi Highway Hui award in recognition of their exemplary service to Maui’s Adopt-A-Highway program! Hawaiian Electric – Maui County has been a dedicated community partner in our Adopt-A-Highway program for over 25 years. While often exceeding the minimum four time per year requirement for trash pick ups on their section of the highway, they have mobilized anywhere from 20 to 100 participants for each pick up, removing as many as 70 bags of rubbish each time! They’ve made a phenomenal contribution to keeping our environment on Maui cleaner and safer. We are pleased to recognize their tremendous commitment.

Check out this story featured in Maui Now!

Want to become involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program? Visit our Adopt-A-Highway page to learn more.

Lihikai Elementary School Public Education Event

Third Grade Presentations

On March 11, 2020, Maui Highways District personnel visited Lihikai Elementary School to educate third grade students on the importance of preventing pollution in Maui’s stormwater. These presentations educated a total of 126 students and 7 teachers.

The students were first shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater flows off of our roads and highways, and directly into our oceans and streams. Together, this event educated students on the impacts that stormwater carrying pollutants may have on our ocean environment.

Fourth and Fifth Grade Career Day Presentation

Also on this day, Maui Highways District personnel visited Lihikai Elementary School for a career day event for fourth and fifth grade students. The students were able to meet an Environmental Engineer as well as an Environmental Scientist who educated them on what their jobs entail and their overall mission to prevent stormwater pollution. This event educated a total of 200 students and 14 teachers.

Giveaways

Following each of these presentations, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and activity book and winners of our interactive Kahoot quiz received a “Protect Our Water” reusable straw. Participating teachers received “Protect Our Water” notebooks, pens, and key chains.

Wailuku Elementary School Public Education Event

On March 6, 2020, Maui Highways District personnel visited Wailuku Elementary School to experience another hands-on educational event about stormwater and the potential impacts related to our highways. The event educated a total of 6 teachers and 92 third grade students.

Students were first shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater is taken off of our roads and highways, and into our oceans and streams. Together, this event educated students on the impacts that stormwater carrying pollutants may have on these invaluable resources.

Following the presentation, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and activity book.

Waihe‘e Elementary School Public Education Event

On February 28, 2020, Maui Highways District personnel visited Waihe‘e Elementary School to experience another hands-on educational event about stormwater and the potential impacts related to our highways. The event educated a total of 7 teachers and 109 third grade students.

Students were first shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater is taken off of our roads and highways, and into our oceans and streams. Together, this event educated students on the impacts that stormwater carrying pollutants may have on these invaluable resources.

Following the presentation, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and activity book.

Pomaika‘i Elementary School Public Education Event

On February 24, 2020, Maui Highways District personnel visited Pomaika’i Elementary School to experience a hands-on educational event about stormwater and the potential impacts related to our highways. The event educated a total of 16 teachers and 204 students from Grades 1 through 3.

Students were first shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater is taken off of our roads and highways, and into our oceans and streams. Together, this event educated students on the impacts that stormwater carrying pollutants may have on these invaluable resources.

Following the presentation, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and activity book.

Kahului Elementary School Public Education Event

Maui Highways District personnel visited Kahului Elementary School over the span of two days to experience another hands-on educational event about stormwater and the potential impacts related to our highways. The first event on February 19, 2020 educated a total of 8 teachers and 73 third grade students.

The second event on February 21, 2020 educated a total of 6 teachers and 68 third grade students.

Within each session, students were shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater is taken off of our roads and highways, and into our oceans and streams.

Additionally, Maui Highways District personnel used an interactive activity that quizzed the students knowledge on stormwater. The class was split into teams and collaborated on the fun online survey.

Following the presentation, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and activity book.

The activity that quizzed the students knowledge.

Paia Elementary School Public Education Event

On February 7, 2020, Maui Highways District personnel visited Paia Elementary School to experience a hands-on educational event about stormwater and the potential impacts related to our highways. The event educated a total of 10 teachers and 173 students from Grades 3 through 5.

Students were first shown a presentation on the potential pollutants that exist and how they may impact stormwater. They were then able to interact with a “stormwater model” that simulates the way in which untreated stormwater is taken off of our roads and highways, and into our oceans and streams. Together, this event educated students on the impacts that stormwater carrying pollutants may have on these invaluable resources.

Following the presentation, each student received a “Protect Our Water” pencil and keychain.

2019 UHMC Construction Career Day

On November 15, 2019, over 1,000 students, teachers, and counselors visited the University of Hawaii Maui College for the 13th annual Construction Career Day. Maui Highways District personnel were “in the house” talking to students about career opportunities with HDOT and about keeping the environment clean.

DOT Newsletter Dec. 2019 15 Download

Public Service Announcement

The Maui Highways District has partnered with Maui High School to develop a Public Service Announcement to remind the public of the importance of keeping pollutants from entering the storm drain system.

2018 Construction & Post-Construction BMP Workshop

The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division Maui District and the County of Maui Department of Public Works are hosting a Construction & Post-Construction BMP Workshop. This training is for Maui Designers and Contractors who have an interest in County or State construction projects. The training will be a half-day workshop held on November 15, 2018, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Workshop topics will include:

  • BMP Plan Preparation, Implementation and Managment
  • Construction BMP Dos and Don’ts
  • Post-Construction (Permanent) BMPs and the National Green  Infrastructure Certification Program

There is no cost to attend this event, but space is limited.

To confirm your attendance, please register at the following Eventbrite link:
Construction and Post-Construction BMP Workshop Registration

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Barnes at 808.587.7747.

Download Workshop Announcement

What is an MS4?

MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. It’s a public network of structures that convey storm water, usually to a stream or the ocean. An MS4 is not like the sewer system which is designed to treat sewage. In short, an MS4 is a permitted storm water drainage system.

“Huh?” you say. Let’s start at the beginning.

A Little History
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act was first enacted in 1948. Although it was not a particularly effective bill, it was the first major legislation in the U.S. to address increasing water pollution. In 1972, significant amendments were added to the act leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Water Act. The need for these amendments had become clear to legislators and the general public after events such as the Cuyahoga River fires. The sight of a river so full of pollution that it caught fire 13 times between 1968 and 1969 made it clear that something needed to be done to protect streams, lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

The Clean Water Act gives the EPA authority to set water quality standards and establish pollution control programs. The act also made it illegal for anyone to discharge any pollutants to U.S. waters unless a permit is first obtained. The necessary permit is called a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which allows a permittee to discharge to a stream or the ocean, but also requires that permittee to have procedures and practices in place that will reduce or eliminate pollution.

While the Clean Water Act was originally focused on industrial facilities and sewage treatment facilities, it is now applicable to everyone including individuals, businesses, industrial facilities, construction projects, and storm drain systems.

Why does a Storm Drain System need a permit?
A storm drain system is a collection of inlets and pipes that are intended to help prevent flooding by directing rain water away from paved areas and into nearby waterbodies such as streams or the ocean. Unlike a sanitary sewer system that treats sewage water before discharging it, a municipal storm drain system does not treat water.  Storm drain systems simply channel water.  This is why it’s so important to make sure that nothing goes into the storm drain except rain water.

The EPA has delegated authority to the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Clean Water Branch to issue NPDES permits. Not every business or activity requires a NPDES permit. EPA and DOH only require permits for those activities that have been identified by regulations as having potential to cause pollution or exceed water quality standards when proper prevention practices are not in place.  Examples include construction projects that disturb over 1-acre, industrial facilities, sewage treatment plants, etc.

Phase I of the NPDES MS4 program applies to medium and large cities and/or counties with populations over 100,000 such as the City and County of Honolulu.  Phase II of the NPDES MS4 program mandates that drainage systems owned by public entities in “urbanized areas” (determined by the U.S. Census Bureau) also become permitted as a small facility.  In response to the 2010 census, Kahului is now considered an urbanized area.  For this reason, storm drain systems in the greater Kahului area now must have a type of NPDES permit called a Small MS4 permit.

What does a NPDES permit require?
An NPDES permit requires that the owner of the permitted system has a plan to reduce or eliminate pollution that storm water might transport through the storm drain network. That plan is called a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP). Read more about the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Highways and Harbors Divisions, Maui District plan.  HDOT is committed to keeping our streams, harbors, and oceans clean and we hope you are too.

What’s the big deal with storm water pollution?

Did you know that 70% of Maui’s assessed marine water bodies are considered impaired due to pollutants carried by storm water runoff?1 When you hear the word pollution what do you think about? Many people think about trash or oil, but pollution can also be grass clippings, fertilizers, pesticides, and even dirt.

A common misconception is that rain water that enters storm drains gets treated and filtered like sewage. This rarely happens – instead, in order to prevent flooding, the storm drains are designed to quickly move water directly to streams, harbors, and the ocean. This means that anything that rain water washes off our roads is then transported into streams and the ocean. We all need to do our part to ensure our drains stay clean, so remember – Nothing but rain should go down the drain. 

170% of Maui’s assessed marine water bodies are in non-attainment for nutrient numeric criteria.  Source: DOH-CWB, 2014 State of Hawaii Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, September 2, 2014.

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Remember to protect our water.