May 24, 2024 1:22 am
Economic Effects of Water Quality to be Debated on April 6 | Local News, Sports, Employment

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an informative discussion titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” and invites both the public and League members to attend. This event will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory on 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. The program will start at 9:30 a.m., and attendees can participate either in person or via Zoom. Registration can be done through Eventbrite, via email at lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or by calling 239-278-1032.

Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will be presenting the economic impact findings from a recent study on “Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy.” The study was conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF.

One of the key points of discussion will be the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs). In Lee County alone, estimated losses from a single HAB amount to $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures. The potential loss of jobs in a year is estimated at 24,808, with an overall loss in output valued at $3 billion. Property values are estimated to decrease by $3.8 billion, resulting in $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue. Additionally, the loss in quality of life due to non-market recreation is valued at $5.3 billion.

DePaolis will use his expertise in environmental and marine biology as well as his background as a field biologist and JD with a focus on ocean and coastal law to translate cutting-edge science into effective policy advocacy.

Overall, this event aims to educate attendees about how water quality impacts not only our environment but also our economy while providing recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement.

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