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

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

One of the key points of discussion will be 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.

As Policy Director, DePaolis will use his expertise in environmental and marine biology to translate cutting-edge science from SCCF into effective policy through advocacy. With a background as a field biologist and JD with a focus on ocean and coastal law, DePaolis has worked on various environmental and policy issues across different organizations before joining SCCF. Attendees can participate either in person or via Zoom by registering through Eventbrite, emailing lwvlee@lwvlee

By Samantha Johnson

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