Maui News

Adopt-A-Highway recognizes Molokaʻi teachers with award

December 25, 2021, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated December 25, 3:25 PM
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The Molokaʻi Chapter for the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association received the Adopt-A-Highway No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award. Photo Courtesy: Adopt-A-Highway

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.”

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Adopt-A-Highway cleanups are carried out by volunteer groups that commit to adopting a two-mile portion of a state highway for a minimum of two years, pick up litter on their section of the highway at least four times per year, and undergo safety training before each cleanup event. Cleanups must also comply with state and county COVID-19 safety requirements in effect at the time.

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Trash and other pollutants discarded along roadways often wash into storm drains and end up miles away in the ocean, where they can damage the environment. Adopt-A-Highway is one of several programs managed by HWY-M to help reduce pollution and ensure only rainwater enters the storm drain system.

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 also are available on the website.

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