• Washington State Ferries releases plan for greener ferries, terminals

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    Washington State Ferries released on Monday a two-year plan for greener ferries and terminals.

    The sustainability action plan includes ways to protect orca whales, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, reduce waste and other initiatives to make the ferry system more sustainable.

    It also includes what the ferry system says is an ambitious goal to reduce ambient ferry noise and do more to protect orcas.

    WSF said it is already helping to protect Puget Sound’s orca whale population by:

    • Slowing down ferries on some routes to reduce underwater noise
    • Stopping work at terminal construction sites if marine mammals are in the area
    • Reducing speed or changing course if the crew spots whales near a ferry
    • Reporting orca sightings to local partners such as the Orca Network.


    WSF says some of the toughest challenges facing the ferry system are that it is the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state and its operations generate the most carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions within the state transportation system.

    The strategy includes six areas of focus:

    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Air quality
    • Biodiversity
    • Water
    • Waste
    • Community impacts and engagement


    WSF said it will remove creosote-coated timber from Puget Sound, develop an electric hybrid ferry program and implement ways to to reduce fuel consumption.

    During the plan, data will be gathered to establish a baseline in the first two years so that WSF can continue to make progress driven by data in the future.

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