As the new executive director for Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Ted Morton will guide the organization’s work to protect the channel’s health through science-based advocacy, education, fieldwork and enforcement.
He plans to support and expand Channelkeeper’s efforts to monitor waterways, advocate for protective environmental policies, hold polluters accountable and ensure a cleaner, healthier water future.
Mr. Morton, who has more than 25 years of experience in ocean conservation policy, earned his bachelor’s in political science at Furman University and a juris doctor degree at the University of Georgia School of Law. He grew up in Atlanta and has worked in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles and New York City.
For seven-plus years, Mr. Morton directed The Pew Charitable Trusts oceans’ programmatic work at the federal level, which included efforts to strengthen national policies to end overfishing, rebuild depleted fish populations, advance ecosystem-based fisheries management in U.S. waters and expand the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
Before joining Pew, Mr. Morton directed a campaign at the Environmental Defense Fund to improve the international trade of coral reef wildlife.
He served as the vice president of organizational effectiveness and operations at SeaWeb, as well as director of operations at the Pew Institute for Ocean Science.
Mr. Morton was also federal policy director for Oceana, where he was involved in successful efforts to persuade Congress in 2006 to strengthen U.S. fisheries conservation and establish a deep-sea coral research program.
As policy director at American Oceans Campaign, he was instrumental in the passage of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act in 2000, which required states to adopt criteria for testing coastal recreational waters and notifying the public about beach water quality.
He has also led and worked in coalitions on several other ocean and coastal advocacy initiatives throughout his career.
“I’m thrilled and honored to join Santa Barbara Channelkeeper as executive director,” Mr. Morton said in a news release. “The organization has an impressive record of achievements that are a direct result of its programmatic excellence — from in-the-field scientific monitoring to environmental advocacy, enforcement and community education. I’m excited to build upon Channelkeeper’s legacy of clean water work.”