Environmentalist Chad Pregracke

Celebrity Q&A
on August 14, 2005

I just saw the program on PBS about Chad Pregracke and his cleanup of our nation's waterways. How can I contact him?
—Will E., Michigan

Chad Pregracke, 30, is the founder of a non-profit environmental organization called Living Lands & Waters, which has 10 paid staffers who work with thousands of volunteers to clean up polluted rivers. Born in East Moline, Ill. (pop. 20,333), he could see the Mississippi River from his house. He never set out to have an organization; it just evolved as he became more involved in cleaning up the river in the late 1990s. "Our main focus is the Mississippi," he says. "We work on the Ohio River quite a bit, the Missouri River and currently the Illinois River, and some of the smaller ones as well. We're not your typical cleanup. We're more like an industrial strength river cleanup." The organization has four barges, several of which serve as floating recycling centers. "One of the barges is our floating headquarters and living quarters for 10 months a year. It's a 135-foot barge—a ranch style, one-story house with a basement where we store all our equipment," says Pregracke, who is single and only lives on land in East Moline about 40 days a year. Contact him through his website, www.livinglandsandwaters.org, or by mail at 17615 Route 84 North, East Moline, IL 61244.


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