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‘Analyzing the Economic Effects of Water Quality’ forum on April 6 | 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. The event will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The program will start at 9:30 a.m. and attendees can choose to participate in person or via Zoom. Registration can be completed on Eventbrite, through email at lwvlee@lwvlee.org, or by calling 239-278-1032.

At the event, Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will present the economic impact findings of a recent study titled “Impacts of Water Quality on the Southwest Florida Economy.” The study, commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, provides recommendations for policy advocacy and community engagement.

Matt DePaolis is an expert in environmental and marine biology with extensive fieldwork experience in Florida, the Bahamas and Guyana. He holds a master’s degree in marine biology from Oregon University and a JD with a focus on ocean and coastal law from Oregon University School of Law. Prior to his role at SCCF he researched climate litigation, evaluated regulations aimed at protecting water quality and recommended solutions for marine plastic pollution.

The study highlights how devastating economic consequences such as Harmful Algae Blooms can have on recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures in Lee County totaling $195 million; estimated job losses reach 24,808 in one year with lost output of $3 billion; property values are projected to decrease by $3.8 billion leading to lost property tax revenue of $21.4 million; non-market recreation lost is estimated at $5.3 billion

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