Hawaii’s first-ever inter-island ferry service comes under protest

Hawaii’s first-ever inter-island passenger ferry service set off this weekend amidst protests that it could harm marine life, spread invasive species, and worsen pollution. The docking of the ferry’s second voyage was delayed by a dozen steamed surfers, while hundreds more protesters stood on the island seawall shouting and carrying signs. (Perhaps most eloquent: “Stupid ferry, stupid riders.”) Hawaii’s Supreme Court had ruled Thursday that the state should have required an environmental review before letting the Hawaii Superferry go forward; in response, the ferry service moved its maiden voyage up by two days and offered $5 one-way tickets from Oahu to Maui and Kauai. (After Sept. 4, the price will jump to more than $240 round trip for one passenger and one car.) Three green groups have sued. On Monday, a state judge agreed to temporarily block the ferry from using Maui’s Kahului Harbor. A hearing tomorrow will determine whether the ferry will be halted for good until environmental impact studies can be conducted. Ferry ports on the islands of Oahu and Kauai are unaffected by Monday’s ruling.