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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 be presenting the economic impact findings of the recent study “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.

The study highlights the devastating economic consequences of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs), with estimated losses in Lee County totaling $195 million in recreational and commercial fishing revenues and expenditures. Additionally, potential job losses are estimated to reach 24,808 in one year, with a loss in output of $3 billion. Property values are projected to decrease by $3.8 billion, leading to $21.4 million in lost property tax revenue. The value of non-market recreation lost is estimated at $5.3 billion

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