Discussion on April 6: Examining the Economic Effects of Water Quality | News, Sports, Jobs

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Environmental Policy Director, Matt DePaolis, will present the economic impact findings from a recent study titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” at an event hosted by the League of Women Voters of Lee County. The event is open to the public and League members and will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers.

The study was conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. It highlighted the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Lee County, including estimated losses of $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures, potentially leading to the loss of 24,808 jobs and $3 billion in output. Property values are estimated to drop by $3.8 billion, resulting in a loss of $21.4 in property tax revenue. Additionally, the study estimated a loss of $5.3 billion in non-market recreation value (quality of life).

Matt DePaolis has a background in field biology, marine biology, ocean and coastal law and utilizes his expertise to advocate for policy changes based on SCCF’s scientific research. He has worked on various research and policy projects related to climate change, fisheries, water quality, and marine pollution before joining SCCF as their Environmental Policy Director.

By Samantha Johnson

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