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18 Ways President Obama Has Changed Hawaii Forever

Aloha Obama.

Posted on January 18, 2017, at 8:10 p.m. ET

Hawaii's local boy-turned-US president has had a big impact on the Pacific island state that he hails from. Here's a look back at some of the ways Barack Obama has changed Hawaii.

1. He showed the world that the shaka is the greatest hand gesture and can even be used at a presidential inauguration.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

2. The Obama ohana (family) showed everyone how to enjoy shave ice.

There's even a "secret" flavor combo named after the president — the Snowbama — at the shave ice spot he has frequented most over the past eight years.
Saul Loeb / Getty Images

There's even a "secret" flavor combo named after the president — the Snowbama — at the shave ice spot he has frequented most over the past eight years.

3. For better or worse, a lot of people know what a state of Hawaii birth certificate looks like now.

White House / Via web.archive.org

4. When we learned about Obama's notorious high school crew "the Choom Gang," he made us feel OK about having cut class to drive around the mountains to smoke marijuana.

5. At Pearl Harbor, Obama had a historic meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe more than 75 years after the attack in order to further peaceful relations.

It was the first time a sitting Japanese prime minister had visited the memorial.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

It was the first time a sitting Japanese prime minister had visited the memorial.

6. In 2015, he declared Honouliuli, where Japanese Americans were imprisoned in Hawaii during World War II, a national monument.

Evan Vucci / AP
https://www.flickr.com/photos/valdezign/4810181258/in/photolist-pM519V-q4jLQX-pM8mn2-p7GX6A-pMa1dy-q4uhL4-pM749s-p7GUF5-pM9Y6s-pM9XzN-q2oWD3-q4jFra-q4Chx9-pM713Y-q4Ch31-pM8fk2-q4uduP-pM6YGw-pM9Uwd-p7GQi7-q4CeTG-pM4Rkc-p7GPuU-p7Ksfn-q4jBHi-pM6W71-q4jAyV-p7GMxh-q4CbHo-pM4MYH-q4jymi-q4Ca5y-pM7X5R-o58cNV-o59gh4-ojzYPN-omksYg-ojzXjU-omBQtT-ompV8W-nM3Lo1-nM6u28-8k4sbN-8k1fA4-8k4rYj-8k1fgR-8k4riC-6ZaDPu-6ZaDbA-6Z6Bin

7. Tourist swag in Waikiki will never be the same. See: Obama bobblehead.

Parody White House / Via whitehouse.gov1.info

8. The First Family vacays gave locals another reason to complain about the traffic, especially for Kailua residents who live near the Obamas' vacation home.

Hey #Kailua, brace for safety zones, protesters and traffic stops. #Obama is back: http://t.co/NmRbk8nUgV #POTUS

9. We got used to seeing armed boats in the Kawainui Canal, whenever the First Family would be around for the holidays.

Kent Nishimura / Getty Images

10. And in more recent years, Hawaii residents also got used to having their drones banned during his visits.

Who Stopped Obama’s Hawaii Motorcade? Dude Wearing ‘Laid Back, Easy Goin’ Shirt With a Drone https://t.co/bOeRv8d78g

11. Obama hiked the Koko Crater Trail during a vacation in 2015 and made us all feel bad for having called it the "Stairmaster from Hell."

instagram.com

12. Can’t forget to mention the price tag of the presidential vacations, which included the help of the Honolulu Police Department and paid for with state taxpayer money.

Hawaii's costs have been anywhere from $100,000 to nearly $400,000, the Star Advertiser reported.
Marco Garcia / AP

Hawaii's costs have been anywhere from $100,000 to nearly $400,000, the Star Advertiser reported.

13. Obama designated the world's largest marine preserve in Hawaii, quadrupling the boundaries of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Obama designates world’s largest marine preserve in Hawaii https://t.co/gOHeN1P31D

The monument includes the ocean area surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

14. There's a fish that was discovered in the waters surrounding Hawaii that was named after Obama.

The fish, in the genus Tosanoides, was discovered in the waters within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument that Obama designated, so scientists felt it was fitting to give it the name Tosanoides obama.
Richard Pyle

The fish, in the genus Tosanoides, was discovered in the waters within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument that Obama designated, so scientists felt it was fitting to give it the name Tosanoides obama.

15. The Obama administration has helped bring Native Hawaiians closer to having rights similar to other indigenous groups in America, by creating an administrative procedure that would allow a Hawaiian political entity to enter into a government-to-government relationship with the US.

Still, some Native Hawaiians have argued that Obama has not done enough to protect their rights before he leaves office.
Sam Eifling / AP

Still, some Native Hawaiians have argued that Obama has not done enough to protect their rights before he leaves office.

16. Obama has channeled $150 million to Hawaii to fund renewable-energy projects, tripling the state’s supply of clean power.

Cathy Bussewitz / AP

17. In Honolulu, Obama inspired a giant mural, called Hapa, which in Hawaiian means "part" or "portion" and is used to refer to people with a mixed ethnic background.

instagram.com

"The concept of hapa is something beautiful, and President Obama is definitely a symbol of someone who not only is hapa, but represents the philosophy and the beauty of not only being of mixed race, but promoting racial equality," artist Kamea Hadar told Hawaii Magazine.

18. Most importantly, he’s proven that a keiki o ka 'aina can do anything.

Alex Brandon / AP

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