New Study Reveals Devastating Economic Impacts of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

How Water Quality Affects the Economy: A Discussion on April 6 | 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” 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 lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or call 239-278-1032.

During the event, Matt DePaolis, the 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 Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) can cause significant economic losses in Lee County alone. These losses amount to $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures. Additionally, an estimated 24,808 jobs could be lost in a year, with an estimated loss in output of $3 billion. Property values could see a decrease of $3.8 billion, resulting in a loss of $21.4 million in property tax revenue. The study also estimated the value of non-market recreation (quality of life) lost to be $5.3 billion.

DePaolis uses his expertise in environmental and marine biology to advocate for policies based on SCCF’s scientific research as Policy Director at SCCF

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