Economic Impacts of Water Quality: A Presentation by Matt DePaolis

By Eleanor Harrison Mar27,2024
How Water Quality Affects the Economy: A Discussion on April 6 | News, Sports, Jobs

The League of Women Voters of Lee County is hosting an event titled “The Economic Impacts of Water Quality” and invites the public and 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. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m., and attendees can choose to participate in person or via Zoom. To register, interested individuals can visit Eventbrite, send an email to, or call 239-278-1032.

During the event, Matt DePaolis, the environmental policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), will present the results of a recent study on the economic impacts of water quality in Southwest Florida. The study was conducted by Greene Economics and commissioned by Captains for Clean Water, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and SCCF.

The study revealed that Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) have significant economic losses in Lee County alone, which amounted to $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures. 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. The study also estimated that non-market recreation (quality of life) lost was valued at $5.3 billion.

DePaolis utilizes his expertise in environmental and marine biology to advocate for policies based on SCCF’s scientific research as Policy Director at SCCF since 2017. He has over twenty years of experience as a field biologist working with organizations such as the United Nations and Wild Salmon Center on various environmental policy issues such as climate litigation, fisheries policy, and water quality regulations.

In this presentation, DePaolis will discuss how HABs affect not only our environment but also our economy and how we can work together to address this issue.

This event aims to raise awareness about the economic impacts of water quality issues on our region while providing insights into how we can take action towards better water quality management practices.

Register now for this unique opportunity to learn more about this critical topic!

By Eleanor Harrison

As a content writer at, I infuse flavor into words, crafting compelling stories that captivate and inform our audience. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creativity, I strive to create content that not only engages but also inspires. Whether I'm concocting a savory blog post or whipping up a spicy product description, I pour my heart and soul into every piece I write. Join me on this flavorful journey as we explore the tantalizing world of content creation together.

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