San Diego Coastkeeper
announced today its new executive director,
, will join the organization July 18.
Filter comes to San Diego from his role as deputy director of enforcement and emergency response for the
California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control
Filter’s previous work experience includes time as the deputy executive director for consumer, environmental and legal services at the
California District Attorney’s Association
, as a deputy district attorney in Imperial County and as an instructor at
Joliet Junior College
“Enforcing the law is at the heart of every Waterkeeper organization, and Gale has built his professional career on this notion,” said San Diego Coastkeeper Board President David Welborn. “He brings to San Diego Coastkeeper a long history of success in environmental leadership and enforcement perfectly paired with a commitment to education and collaboration.”
While at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, Filter worked to ensure that businesses and others followed state laws and regulations in how they managed, stored and transported hazardous waste in California. Working with an annual budget of approximately $20 million, he directed all aspects of the enforcement program including a staff of 150 scientists, inspectors and criminal investigators at eight state offices.
“Enforcement is powerful, but the power of collaboration should not be overlooked. In many cases, I’ve found that we can achieve compliance if the parties involved possess a collective will to address and fix the environmental problem,” said Filter. “We have much to gain from working together to improve the health of our environment. Enforcement is only part of the solution.”
Noting the future of environmental protection and enforcement is in agile, dynamic and creative groups like San Diego Coastkeeper, Filter said, “As our city and state governments struggle with budgets, the people of this region will depend on our efforts to ensure that San Diego’s inland and coastal waters remain clean.”
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s inland and coastal waters for the communities and wildlife that depend on them by blending education, community empowerment and advocacy.
For more information, visit Coastkeeper’s website at