Economic Effects of Water Quality to be Debated on April 6 | Local News, Sports, Employment

Economic Impacts of Harmful Algae Blooms in Southwest Florida: A Discussion and Recommendations from the League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an informative discussion titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” and invites both the public and League members to attend. The event will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory on 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will be presenting the economic impact findings from a recent study on “Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy,” along with recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement.

The study, conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, highlights the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs). In Lee County alone, estimated losses from a single HAB amount to $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures. The potential loss of jobs in a year is estimated at 24,808, with an overall loss in output valued at $3 billion. Property values are estimated to decrease by $3.8 billion, resulting in $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue. Additionally, the loss in quality of life due to non-market recreation is valued at $5.3 billion.

DePaolis will use his expertise in environmental and marine biology to translate the cutting-edge science from SCCF into effective policy through advocacy. With a background as a field biologist and a J.D. with a focus on ocean and coastal law, DePaolis has worked on various environmental and policy issues across different organizations before joining SCCF.”

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