The Economic Toll of Water Quality: Insights from the League of Women Voters and Harmful Algae Blooms in Lee County

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

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting a unique and informative discussion titled “The Economic Impacts of Water Quality” on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory located at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. The event 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, or call 239-278-1032.

During the discussion, Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the 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 the 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, estimated to result in $195 million in losses in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures if another HAB occurs. Additionally, there could be potential job losses totaling 24,808 within a year, with an estimated loss in output of $3 billion. Property values are also at risk with an estimated $3.8 billion in losses and $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue

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