On Monday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that it would help fund the construction of a hydrogen fuel cell ferry—the first in the nation. The planned boat, named Water-Go-Round, is slated to carry passengers through the San Francisco Bay starting in 2019. Powering ferries with greener technology is a big step forward in lowering emissions, since they tend to run through populous areas. Grist has the story:

After Tom Escher took over his family’s century-old ferry company in 1997, he wanted to buy a zero-emissions vessel that could whisk tourists around San Francisco without spewing harmful pollutants. Escher, who is 71, said he worried about the health of his four grandchildren and the environment they’d live in.

“Our boats were getting greener, and we were cleaning up, but I said, ‘Are we doing the best we can?’” Escher recalled.

A few years ago, he began searching in earnest for a fossil fuel-free ship, but he quickly hit a wall. Even as battery-powered cars and rooftop solar panels proliferated on land, the maritime industry had been slow to embrace clean energy at sea.

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