Economic Impacts of Water Quality: A Discussion Hosted by The League of Women Voters

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

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 located 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 for the event, individuals can visit Eventbrite, send an email to lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or call 239-278-1032.

During the discussion, Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will present 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 SCCF and highlights the economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs). DePaolis will also provide recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement based on these findings.

One key finding from this study is that HABs could result in $195 million in losses in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures alone in Lee County alone. 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 alone due to HABs impacting our waterways. Furthermore, this study highlights non-market recreation which is estimated to be worth $5.3 billion for Southwest Florida region which is priceless when it comes to quality of life benefits for residents living here.

As Policy Director at SCCF since 2016, DePaolis has been advocating for effective policies based on SCCF’s scientific research using his expertise in environmental biology and marine law background he earned his master’s degree in marine biology from University of Oregon and JD with a focus on oceanic coastal law before joining SCCF he worked as field biologist in Florida Bahamas Guyana as well as various organizations researching fisheries policy issues climate litigation marine pollution solutions.

The League of Women Voters encourages everyone interested in learning more about water quality’s impact on our economy to attend this informative discussion hosted by them along with other great organizations working together towards cleaner waterways

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