FOX 4 News: Poor water quality could cost Southwest Florida billions of dollars

January 16, 2024
By: Mahmoud Bennett
Jan. 16th, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The economic fallout from persistent events like red tide in Southwest Florida could reach staggering figures, according to a recent joint study conducted by three local environmental groups.

During a press conference on Tuesday, representatives from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, and The Conservancy of Southwest Florida showed that over $31 billion in economic assets are at risk in the region due to bad water quality.

The analysis, which was prepared by Greene Economics LLC, indicates that for the coastal economy alone, a detrimental water event, such as the algal bloom situation in 2018, could result in $3 billion in losses for Lee County, $1.7 billion for Collier, and $466 million for Charlotte County.

Additionally, the projected economic losses in property values would total $17.8 billion across the three counties, according to the study.