Joe Henderson: On balance, Ron DeSantis has been positive for environment

Protectors of Florida’s environment feel duped by Gov. Ron DeSantis after he approved three major toll road projects. They hoped he was a different kind of Republican after his moves to protect Florida’s land and water. But while I almost always side with that sentiment, I don’t agree this time.

Advocates for road expansion have a compelling argument. People aren’t going to stop moving here. The state has to plan for that, and that means creating more ways to get around.

Plans call for a new expressway from rural Collier County to Polk County. The Suncoast Parkway will be extended from Crystal River to the Georgia line. It also will connect to the northern end of Florida’s Turnpike in Wildwood.

Florida’s population is projected to reach about 26 million by 2030, the goal to complete these projects. That’s roughly 5 million more people than we have now. Short of building a wall at the Georgia and Alabama borders to keep newcomers out, what is the answer?

All of those newcomers can’t just cram into Miami-Dade, Orlando, and Tampa. Environmentalists bemoan the sprawl they say the new roads will create. They have a point. But it would be better if things

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