Read on for the latest news from HDOT, Highways Division, Oahu District as well as tips to mālama i ka wai, or protect our water!
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World Oceans Month Recap

This June, we partnered with Sea Life Park for a World Ocean Month Giveaway. Congratulations to the three lucky winners who received a Plumeria Annual Pass to Sea Life Park! The winners were randomly selected from those who completed our public awareness survey either online or at our booth during Sea Life Park’s World Ocean Day celebration. Thank you to all who participated!

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is an initiative by the Plastic Free Foundation that works to inspire millions worldwide to reflect on their plastic use and consumption. By choosing to be plastic free for the month of July, people help to keep plastic out of our storm drains and work to create cleaner streets, oceans, and communities all over the world!
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Going Deep with Trash

HDOT recently completed a Visual Trash Assessment (VTA) of Oahu state highways. The VTA is a qualitative method used to classify trash load on highway segments from low to very high levels. This tool helps to assess trash volume that can potentially enter the MS4 and discharge into our receiving waters.
Shopping carts, trash bags and more found on a high-level trash route.
The original VTA was conducted in 2017, again in 2019, and was most recently completed again in May of 2021. With each iteration, HDOT is better able to understand the effectiveness of trash control measures such as street sweeping and the Adopt-A-Highway Program, and how trash load on the highways has changed since the initial assessment. 
The VTA is an important instrument to help HDOT conduct and fulfill the Trash Reduction Plan by which 100% of the initially assessed trash load found in 2017 must be cleared by the end of the contract period. You can learn more about our Trash Reduction Plan here.
Scattered recyclables, paper napkins, and more on a low-level trash route.
To run this assessment, 2-3 person teams were sent out weekly to assess trash levels along State highways. This was done in 1-mile segments, and teams completed surveys after each segment to provide data on the trash level, type of trash, frequency, and more. The 2021 VTA took 15 weeks to complete and evaluated more than 500 miles of highway. A full analysis is performed at the end of each VTA, which provides insight into trends, efficacy of trash reduction methods, and guidance for future best management practices.

Grow Your Own Produce

Have you ever been at the grocery store getting fruits, vegetables, or herbs and thought to yourself, “I could grow this at home.” Well, you can! Growing your own produce at home is a great way to save money and reduce packaging waste. It’s not uncommon to find strawberries, tomatoes, and basil in plastic containers, or grapes and apples in plastic bags. Some produce is even individually wrapped in plastic, like cucumbers. Here are a few tasty fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can try growing at home to avoid the excess packaging!

Here's an example:
Papayas are not only delicious, they are also the perfect fruit to grow here in Hawaii!
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Replace Your Lawn with
Drought-Tolerant Plants

Across the country, lawns consume almost 3 trillion gallons of water each year, 200 million gallons of gas for mowing, and 70 million pounds of pesticides. Whenever it rains or the sprinklers turn on, chemicals from fertilizers or pesticides can end up in the water that makes its way into our storm drains. To conserve water and keep our storm drains clear, consider replacing your lawn with drought-tolerant plants.

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DOT-HWYS Oahu’s Q2 2021
Adopt-A-Highway Champion

Congratulations to the 25th ID & USARHAW JAG Office, HDOT Highways, Oahu District’s Second Quarter 2021 Adopt-A-Highway Champions! 
Their route is along Kamehameha Highway from the Haleiwa sign to Chun’s reef. Last month, they picked up 12 bags of trash and recyclable items along their route.
We are so very lucky to be stationed in such a beautiful place and cleaning up our section of the highway is our small act of gratitude to the Aina. We get so much support and aloha from everyone driving by, so many honks and shakas of encouragement. It is important for us to show the local community that we don’t take living in Hawai’i for granted and that we want to be good stewards of the land.” – Cora Allen
Special thanks to the 25th ID & USARHAW JAG Office, for their efforts in helping to prevent trash from entering our storm drains and protecting our waters. Mahalo for your commitment to the Adopt-A-Highway program! 
Learn More
Copyright © 2021 State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division, Oahu District, All rights reserved.

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