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

The Hidden Costs of Water Quality: A Look at the Economic Impacts and What You Can Do

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an informative discussion titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy”. This event is open to the public and League members, and it takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory located at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m., and attendees can choose to participate in person or via Zoom. To register for the event, individuals can visit Eventbrite, send an email to lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or call 239-278-1032.

During the discussion, Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will present the economic impact findings from a recent study titled Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy. The study was conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF. DePaolis will also provide recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement based on the study’s findings.

One of the key findings from the study is that Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) have devastating economic consequences in Lee County alone. It is estimated that another HAB could result in $195 million in losses in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures, with potential job losses totaling 24,808 within a year and an estimated loss in output of $3 billion. Additionally, property values are also at risk, with an estimated $3.8 billion in losses and $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue. The study also highlights that non-market recreation (or quality of life) is valued at $5.3 billion.

As Policy Director at SCCF since August 2018, DePaolis leverages his expertise in environmental and marine biology to advocate for effective policies based on SCCF’s scientific research

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