Economic Consequences of Water Quality: A Discussion with Matt DePaolis, Environmental Policy Director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

April 6 Discussion: How Water Quality Affects the Economy | News, Sports, Jobs

On Saturday, April 6, from 9 to 11 a.m., the League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an event titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy.” The discussion will take place at The Collaboratory at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers, with attendees having the option to participate in person or via Zoom. To register for the event, individuals can visit Eventbrite, email, or call 239-278-1032.

Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will be presenting the economic impact findings from a recent study on the Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy. He will also provide recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement based on his experience in environmental and marine biology fieldwork in Florida, Guyana and Bahamas as well as his master’s degree in marine biology and J.D with focus on ocean and coastal law from University of Oregon.

The study was conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF. The findings highlighted the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) including losses in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures totaling $195 million alone in Lee County. In addition to this, there were estimated 24,808 potential jobs lost and $3 billion in lost output as well as property values decreased by $3.8 billion resulting in $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue and non-market recreation lost was estimated at $5.3 billion.

As an advocate for effective policy through science translation into advocacy, DePaolis is uniquely positioned to provide valuable insights into how water quality impacts local communities economically. This event provides an opportunity for attendees to learn about these impacts firsthand and engage with experts like Matt DePaolis to advocate for change that protects both our environment and economy

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