Crist Honors Former Governor

Former Governor and Tampa Mayer Bob Martinez
TAMPA -

Martinez got his start in public service as a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

From there, he launched his political career championing environmental issues like cleaning up Tampa Bay.

In honor of the former governor, a Department of Environmental Protection building was renamed the Bob Martinez Center.

Current Governor Charlie Crist credited Martinez with signing the Preservation 2000 legislation, which led to the current Florida Forever program.

CRIST: Y'know, the reach of this great governor will never be known. But I can tell you this: he worked extraordinarily hard to protect Florida for future generations.

Critics say it was a mixed legacy. They credit Martinez for personally pushing changes to environmental policy, but say some in his administration didn't support key efforts to preserve land and other ecological resources.

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