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Recent Press

Recent Press

Whether Living Lands & Waters is working on the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio or Illinois Rivers, the crew is always excited to share our mission of watershed conservation with each community. Building awareness about the state of our nation’s waterways is something that Chad and the LL&W crew take very seriously, and we’re grateful to the media for helping to share our story and increase public attention about the issues confronting our local rivers.

We’re coming to a river near you and hopefully making some local and national headlines in the process!

If you’re a member of the media and wish to speak with someone at LL&W, please contact Callie Schaser, Communications Specialist, at callie@livinglandsandwater.org


Kids from the Spring Forward and Stepping Stones programs will have the opportunity to learn about mussels, water quality, riparian habitats and more, all while exploring the Mississippi River in a Floating Classroom.

Living Lands & Waters, an award-winning non-profit organization founded in 1997 by Chad Pregracke in East Moline, is celebrating 25 years this month.

The nonprofit Living Lands and Waters has collected 1.2 million pounds of tornado debris from shorelines since December. On Friday, they made one final pass through the Cambridge Shores area of Marshall County — except this time they were underwater.

The Neponset community is the recipient of 275 free oak trees again this year, thanks to the Living Lands and Waters Organization in East Moline, Illinois. Neponset has received trees for ten of the past twelve years.

Living Lands and Water is many things, but namely, the nonprofit says it's the only group doing "industrial strength" river clean-up in the world.

Cleaning the environment is no small victory. It takes time, even years, to manage. The Living Lands and Waters organization understands that, and for years they’ve been coming to Memphis to treat one lake filled to the brim with trash: McKellar Lake.

Living Lands and Waters (LLW) non-profit organization partners with college students all over the country through its Alternative Spring Break program to complete its yearly McKellar Lake trash and waste cleanup.

“This is 1.2 million pounds we’ve done so far, and that’s basically in eight weeks,” founder and president Chad Pregracke said of the debris the organization has pulled out of and alongside Kentucky Lake since a tornado hit December 10.

"The pile just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger," said Schaser. But over the course of just two months, they've pulled out 1.2 million pounds of everything from boat hulls and dock structures to toys for children.

Living Lands & Waters has cleared nearly 70 semi truck loads from Kentucky shorelines since the December 10th tornado. Despite last week's icy weather, they're still making progress.

So far over 4,000 cubic yards of debris has been collected from the Cambridge Shores area and Land Between the Lakes (Kentucky Lake side) shorelines with much more to be cleared.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all that we end up doing over a million pounds of debris out there. There’s a lot of stuff. It’s pretty devastating,” said Pregracke.

The crew from Living Lands and Waters needs people to go up and onto the shore to help with the clean up on the tornado path in Marshall County as well as help them with the clean up on the Land Between the Lakes shoreline.

After December’s tornadoes, the non-profit reached out to Marshall County officials, saying they were ready to conquer the enormous job.

Living Lands & Waters, a nonprofit organization, is heading the cleanup efforts in the Kentucky lakes area.

Twelve members of the Ohio Valley chapter of Women in Maritime Operations (WIMOs) participated in a river cleanup in July with Living Lands & Waters.

Local Louisville, KY river community and Police relieved to see abandoned houseboat leave the river, after being there for almost a whole year. One less eyesore and environmental hazard polluting the Ohio River.

Finlandia Vodka shows its support for Living Lands & Waters as they teamed up to tackle the trash on the Ohio River.

Tennessee's waterways are a little cleaner thanks to the efforts of volunteers across the state last month.

The coronavirus has thrown some speed bumps into the river cleanup mission of Living Lands & Waters but has not been able to stop it.

Living Lands and Waters is out on the Illinois River picking up trash all along the banks and in the water. By the time they are finished with this project, they will have picked up nearly 25 tons of trash just in a few weeks.

A local non-profit won’t let the pandemic stop its work to protect the environment on Earth Day.

Living Lands and Waters surpasses its goal for planting trees this year.

What began as one man on a cleanup mission has grown into one of the US's most impactful river initiatives.

Volunteers with Living Lands and Waters have been knee-deep in their yearly project to clean up McKellar lake in Memphis.

Marcus will learn how vital it is to keep the Mississippi River clean

Nonprofit river cleanup organization Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) unloaded hundreds of thousands of pounds of garbage at the Owensboro Riverport Authority on Wednesday.

Since early September this year, the crew of Living Lands & Waters has been traveling along the Ohio River, cleaning up shorelines and hosting hands-on educational courses as they go.

ABERDEEN, Ohio – On the Ohio River this month is the national non-profit Living Lands and Waters.

RIPLEY, Ohio — Moored in Ripley, sits a barge filled with litter gathered from the Ohio River, and volunteers who are trying to clean up this waterway.

When Living Lands & Waters conducted its annual spring break cleanup of Memphis’ McKellar Lake along the Mississippi River this year, it managed to remove 141,291 pounds of trash from a three-mile stretch of waterfront, thanks to the assistance of 675 volunteers.

Illinois-based environmental organization Living Lands & Waters has nearly doubled the amount of garbage removed from U.S. inland rivers compared to this time last year. So far in 2019, the group, established by past CNN Hero award winner Chad Pregracke, has removed 232,399 pounds of garbage during 75 cleanups by over 1,000 volunteers.

Almost 70 volunteers from ADM boated out to the Quinsippi Island area this morning to team up with the crew from Living Lands and Waters to clear out a dumpster full of debris left behind by the flood.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The 30th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by TVA with support from Lowe’s collected 36.8 tons of trash and tires from 33 sites in and along East Tennessee’s waterways on April 6, once again removing a significant amount from Loves Creek.

The event brought 680 volunteers out to clean up the community. They removed 1,646 bags of garbage and 449 tires from sites in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Loudon counties.

NEPONSET — For the seventh time, 250 oak trees are headed to Neponset this spring, thanks to the Living Lands and Waters organization in East Moline.

Tree giveaway to mark Earth Day

For the seventh time, 250 oak trees are headed to Neponset this spring, thanks to the Living Lands and Waters organization in East Moline.

Living Lands & Waters, an environmental organization that was established by past CNN Hero award winner Chad Pregracke in 1998, announced November 20 that it has removed 10 million pounds of trash from the inland rivers since its inception.

EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- A small, local non-profit just made a big announcement.
Living Lands and Waters has removed more than 10 million pounds of trash from U.S. rivers, according to a video they released on Nov. 20.

AUGUSTA — Bracken County High School biology students were given an opportunity to learn the importance of recycling while on board the Living Lands and Water barge on Friday.

Last spring break, Cassie Metz ’17 got to see the garbage firsthand. Metz joined 30 Illinois State students and faculty advisor John Baldwin, a professor in the School of Communication, on land and water to help with a massive cleanup along the river as part of an Alternative Breaks trip.

Around 70 Procter & Gamble employees volunteered Tuesday afternoon. They are the latest in a line of roughly 100,000 volunteers Living Lands & Waters has had over the past 21 years.

CINCINNATI -- Look hard enough and the bank of the Ohio River almost resembles a department store. Along the river you’ll find shoes, tires, folding chairs and even rundown toys.

Check out students on the Ohio River experiencing a workshop in our "Floating Classroom"!

See how our Ohio River Tour is moving along..with some bumps in the road (river?).

Writer Dave Lavender came out to volunteer with us and wrote this wonderful story after.

Check out this awesome video of the crew on the Ohio River!

Kicked off our 2018 Ohio River Tour in Portsmouth, OH!

See how we modified the M/V River Cleanup to suit our new operations!

Featuring a cleanup we did with sponsor LafargeHolcim at Starved Rock State Park.

You’re invited! Come celebrate Arbor Day with the City of Moline Parks and Recreation department with a tree giveaway at the Moline Garden Center (3350 5th Avenue)!

Approximately 250 oak trees are headed to Neponset this weekend as part of our MillionTrees Project.

Our Impact

  • Pounds of Trash Removed

    12,827,315

  • Volunteers Involved

    120,566

  • Students Educated

    11,386

  • Trees Planted

    1,780,045

© 2022 Living Lands & Waters

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