The Economic Impacts of Water Quality on Southwest Florida: A Presentation by Matt DePaolis at the League of Women Voters of Lee County

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 will be hosting an event titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy.” The event will take place at The Collaboratory at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers and is open to both the public and League members. Attendees can choose to participate in person or via Zoom.

To register for the event, individuals can visit Eventbrite, email, or call 239-278-1032. The presentation will be given by Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). DePaolis will discuss the economic impact findings from a recent study on the Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy, as well as provide recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement.

The study was conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF. The findings showed that Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) had devastating economic consequences in Lee County alone, resulting in $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures, with an estimated 24,808 potential jobs lost 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 the value of non-market recreation lost was estimated at $5.3 billion.

DePaolis has a unique background in environmental and marine biology and is well positioned to translate cutting edge science into effective policy through advocacy. His experience includes field biology work in Florida, the Bahamas, and Guyana, as well as a master’s degree in marine biology and a J.D with a focus on ocean and coastal law from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining SCCF he worked on coastal policy analysis climate litigation fisheries policy marine plastic pollution solutions among other things

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