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

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -The Quad Cities is fortunate to live along 2,300 miles of opportunity. That’s what Living Lands & Waters calls the Mississippi River.

Living Lands & Waters’ new educational barge has a history that goes back nearly a century. “I wanted a working structure, something that had a story of its own,” said Chad Pregracke

The floating classroom caught the attention of the environmental advocacy platform Rivers Are Life, which produced a short film called “Study Aboard” that chronicles Living Land and Waters’ 2023 spring break program.

Chad says that he wants to inspire the next generation to want to continue cleaning up American rivers. In the past 25 years, Chad and his team have moved over 13 million pounds of trash out of American rivers.

"Ten years ago, Chad Pregracke was named CNN Hero of the Year. Now, the tireless East Moline native is a different kind of hero."

"Living Lands and Waters made a major splash on the Ohio River last weekend, but it was all in the name of fun."

"Living Lands and Waters' newest barge features its new 'Mississippi River Floating Classroom.'"

"Hundreds of volunteers will be sorting through 80,614 pounds of trash to recycle in an event called 'Recycle like a Rockstar.'"

"It's got a global impact," Martel said. "And we know that so much of the trash that ends up in the oceans and affects the world comes right out of the rivers. With all the work that they do, not only within the rivers, but in educating the people around the area, to just help them understand that everybody can play a part and everybody can contribute to a cleaner world and a cleaner environment."

As part of Living Lands & Waters’ MillionTrees Project, officials said ADM colleagues will be planting trees throughout the Decatur community.

Earlier this month, as part of MLS WORKS sixth-annual Greener Goals initiative, FC Cincinnati partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Living Lands & Waters for a clean-up of the Ohio River.

This is the third year LL&W and Culver’s have partnered in a fundraiser, and each year the number of participating restaurants grows. The restaurants this year will donate 10% of net sales to LL&W for Earth Day.

A changing lineup of 120 college students from nearly a dozen universities removed at least 75,000 pounds of trash from the lake and its banks in the past three weeks, as part of an annual program with Living Lands & Waters.

I found River on our second day of cleaning up the Mississippi River as a part of the 2023 Alternative Spring Break trip with Living Lands & Waters.

For the past month, the Hamilton County Police Association Dive Team has used sonar technology to scan the Ohio River, helping them identify cars. A river cleanup operation then pulls the cars from the river.

Living Lands and Waters teams up with Hamilton Country Police Association Dive and Recovery Team to remove 10 cars at the bottom of the Ohio River.

Local law enforcement officers are helping to clean up the Ohio River and some cold cases this week. Members of the Hamilton County Police Association Dive and Recovery Team are working with Living Lands and Waters to remove vehicles from under the water.

Hamilton Country Police Association Underwater Search and Recovery Dive Team and environmental group Living Lands and Waters are team up to pull vehicles out of the Ohio River.

Living Lands & Waters expects to carry out its mission as a non-profit river cleanup organization more reliably with American River Transportation Company’s (ARTCO) recent donation of a 750 hp. towboat.

"I talk with Chad about what motivated him to form Living Lands & Waters, the lessons he learned forming a 501(c)3 non-profit, and the obstacles (and sunken boats) he has overcome. Chad also shares his thoughts on how he manages his team’s time and resources, his work on other initiatives such as the Bison Bridge Foundation, and how initiatives at the city and county level are setting Iowa up for environmental success in the future."

Megan shares her thoughts after attending the Living Lands & Waters Barge Party in the Quad Cities. LL&W celebrated 25 years of cleaning up the water and land. It was a time to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and passion for a mission that has expanded from the shores of Iowa to waterways around the globe.

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 & Waters is cleaning up America’s waterways by removing anything that shouldn’t be there.
Find out how you can help support this colossal logistical effort and create ecosystems we can all be proud of.

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.

From phone cases to dog toys - take a look at this stellar list of five companies that advocate for the environment.

June 5th was World Environment Day! And, in celebration, we think it’s important to share a few of the positive current events happening around the world. We like wins, big and small, and we’re always happy to cheer on our planet!

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.

Our Impact

  • Pounds of Trash Removed


  • Volunteers Engaged


  • Students Educated


  • Trees Planted


  • ADM
  • Cargill
  • Cargo Carriers
  • John Deere
  • ACBL
  • Anhesuser - Busch
  • Hines Furlong
  • Ingram
  • Marquette
  • PCNA
  • Arconic
  • Carmeuse
  • Honda
  • Hydro Flask
  • Modern Woodmen
  • Presence Marketing
  • RBC
  • Riverstone
  • TC Energy
  • P&G
  • Culver's
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