Harmful Algae Blooms: A Threat to the Economy and Property Values of Lee County, Florida

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. Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will present the economic impact findings from a recent study titled Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy during the discussion.

The study was conducted by Greene Economics on behalf of Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF, and DePaolis will provide recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement based on its findings. One of the key findings from this study is that Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) have devastating economic consequences in Lee County alone, with an estimated $195 million in losses in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures as well as 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. Additionally, non-market recreation or quality of life is valued at around $5.3 billion according to research done by SCCF’s environmental expert Matt DePaolis who has over twenty years experience working as field biologist in Florida, Bahamas and Guyana along with a master’s degree in marine biology and JD focused on oceanic law from University of Oregon before joining SCCF he held roles such as Coastal Policy Analyst Fellow at University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions where he researched climate litigation fisheries policy issues marine pollution solutions among other things

As Policy Director at SCCF DePaolis leverages his expertise to advocate for effective policies based on scientific research done by SCCF which has been instrumental

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