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

The Economic Consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms: A Presentation by Matt DePaolis at LWV Lee County Event

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an event titled “The Impacts of Water Quality on the Economy” and welcomes both the public and League members to join. The event will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory at 2031 Jackson St. in Fort Myers. Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will present the results of a recent study on the economic impacts of water quality in Southwest Florida during the program which begins at 9:30 a.m. Interested individuals can choose to participate in person or via Zoom by registering through Eventbrite, sending an email to, or calling 239-278-1032.

During the event, Matt DePaolis will present the findings of a recent study conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation on Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) impact on economy in Lee County. According to the study, HABs resulted in $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures lost alone in Lee County. Additionally, an estimated 24,808 jobs could be lost in a year with an estimated loss in output of $3 billion. Property values could see a decrease of $3.8 billion resulting in a loss of $21.4 million in property tax revenue as well as non-market recreation (quality of life) lost valued at $5.3 billion .

As Policy Director at SCCF, Matt DePaolis utilizes his expertise in environmental and marine biology to advocate for policies based on scientific research he has background as field biologist in Florida, Bahamas and Guyana with a master’s degree


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