Unveiling the Economic Aftershocks of Harmful Algae Blooms: A Discussion with Matt DePaolis

April 6 Discussion: How Water Quality Affects the Economy | News, Sports, Jobs

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an event titled “The Economic Impact of Water Quality” and invites the public and league members to attend. The discussion will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m., with the program beginning at 9:30 a.m., at The Collaboratory located at 2031 Jackson St in Fort Myers. Participants have the option to attend in person or via Zoom.

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

The study was conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF. The research highlighted the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Lee County alone, resulting in losses totaling $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures, with an estimated 24,808 potential jobs lost and $3 billion in lost output. Additionally, property values were estimated to decrease by $3.8 billion, resulting in $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue, and non-market recreation was estimated to lose $5.3 billion.

DePaolis has a unique background that enables him to translate cutting edge science into effective policy through advocacy. He holds a master’s degree in marine biology and JD with focus on ocean and coastal law from University of Oregon before joining SCCF as environmental policy director where he worked on coastal policy analysis climate litigation fisheries policy marine plastic pollution solutions prior to his current role

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