Economic Impacts of Water Quality: A Study Reveals the Devastating Effects on SW Florida and the Importance of Action

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

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an event titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” and invites both the public and members to join. The event will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory 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, interested individuals can visit Eventbrite, send an email to, or call 239-278-1032.

During the event, Matt DePaolis, environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will present the results of a recent study on the economic impacts of water quality in Southwest Florida. The study was conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF.

The study revealed that significant economic losses could result from Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Southwest Florida, with $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures lost alone in Lee County alone. Additionally, an estimated 24,808 jobs could be lost in a year with an estimated loss in output of $3 billion. Property values could also see a decrease of $3.8 billion, resulting in a loss of $21.4 million in property tax revenue. Furthermore, non-market recreation (quality of life) was also estimated to be lost at $5.3 billion.

DePaolis has been using his expertise as Policy Director at SCCF since he joined the organization earlier this year after working on various environmental policy issues with organizations such as the United Nations and the Wild Salmon Center for many years beforehand – focusing on climate litigation, fisheries policy

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