Economic Impacts of Harmful Algae Blooms: A Call to Action by the League of Women Voters of Lee County

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

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting a unique event titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” that welcomes both the public and League members to attend. The discussion will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m., with the program beginning at 9:30 a.m., at The Collaboratory located at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. Attendees have the option to participate in person or via Zoom.

To register for the event, individuals can visit Eventbrite, email lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or call 239-278-1032. The presentation will be given by Matt DePaolis, an environmental policy director at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). DePaolis will be presenting the economic impact findings from a recent study conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF on the Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy.

The study was conducted to highlight the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Lee County alone. Losses from a single HAB event totaled $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures, resulting in an estimated loss of 24,808 potential jobs and $3 billion in lost output. Property values were estimated to decrease 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.

DePaolis has extensive experience working as an environmental policy director at SCCF and has background knowledge in environmental biology and marine biology which enables him to translate cutting edge science into effective policy advocacy with his unique perspective on ocean law from his JD degree with a focus on ocean and coastal law from University of Oregon he is well positioned to explain how these scientific findings can impact policies that benefit communities affected by HABs across Southwest Florida’s economy

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