Now that Gov. Rick Scott has signed the bill to construct a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, it is time to put what just happened into context.
The legislation was the singular priority of Senate President Joe Negron, who represents the epicenter of the toxic algae outbreaks that the reservoir is hoped to significantly reduce.
Negron fought mightily for this bill, and in the context of Florida politics, his success is a triumph that history will remember.
For 17 years, federal and state lawmakers and bureaucrats alike have dragged their feet on this project. It took bold leadership by Negron and his allies to see it through the Tallahassee maze.
In the context of citizen engagement, the outpouring of popular support for the proposal was remarkable. Nearly 100,000 Floridians made their voices heard by signing the “Now Or Neverglades Declaration,” along with the support of the business community and environmental and conservation groups who used social media to engage tens of thousands more.