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Stay up-to-date with what's going on at Living Lands & Waters!

If you’re a member of the media and wish to speak with someone at LL&W, please contact Leah Cafarelli, Marketing Manager, at

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.

Let Chad tell ya 'bout the birds (butterflies) and the bees and the (wild)flowers and the trees in his first ever blog! He wants to know what you think after you check it out!

There must be something in the water **other than** tires and trash…the love barge strikes again! Blog written by Chad’s wife, Tammy, another barge connection!

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.

Remember MTV Cribs? This is our version! Click through to learn more about fish cribs and why they were a necessary addition to Lake Decatur!

Removing trash from our rivers and watersheds is just part of the solution. The other big challenge is disposing of it in a way that diverts as much of it as possible from landfills.

Check out the top environmentally friendly social media accounts we’d marry if we could! How cuuuute would our trash babies be????

Have you ever wondered what kind of trash we find in America’s rivers? Well, if so, you’re not alone! We started tracking things like pounds of trash removed and sh!t we find tracing back to the beginning (1998). Plastic bottles are, by far, the number one thing we remove (see more information on an upcoming volunteer event at the bottom of the page!) but there are a variety of other items that might make you go, hmmm.

Being a Living Lands & Waters crew member is much more than a full-time job; it’s a fast-paced, whirlwind lifestyle. The month of March completely proves this. We throw our hands up and dive face first into our work every single day.

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.

Because we’re not your ordinary workforce, we turn boring office work into fun blogs! This week, we were updating employee files and noticed quite a few missing or expired driver’s licenses. This was the perfect opportunity to make lemonade out of our most embarrassing photos from the DMV, high school graduation style!

You might have caught our last blog on plastics for dinner. On the barge, pizza is also what’s for dinner! We’re lucky to have some pretty talented cooks in tow and everyone does their part in the galley, but there isn’t always time for all of that. Many days call for less time cooking and more time working! Below are the top favorite frozen pizzas that may or may not sustain us at all hours of the day some days!

Have you heard of the latest diet craze? Plastics and microplastics are ending up on our dinner plates and in our drinking glasses. Ours and our wildlife friends, too. Find out how this is happening and what you can do to reduce your plasticalories!

Do you find yourself overwhelmed at a store with all of the options for cheese, vegetables, fruits or breads? Have you ever wondered why everything, even fresh produce, is wrapped in plastic? Or how you can leave the store with less plastic in your shopping cart? If so, then this blog is for you!

It’s true that some things aren't always as they seem. The Coach has another perspective of how things have gone down at the Freshwater Mussels Gym and he’s not too happy about it!! Click through to this week’s blog to get the *other* side of the story. Do you favor muscle power or mussel power???

February is here and we don’t want to see those New Year’s resolutions slipping away, so check out this week’s blog for some fitness motivation straight from the Freshwater Mussels Gym on the barge!! #LifeInTheTrashLane

Hello! We are Living Lands & Waters and we’re living life in the trash lane. Our number one job is to leave America’s rivers cleaner than we found them while educating students about the environmental impacts of waste. Welcome to our new blog!

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.

Read about how a student attending our Alternative Spring Break found a message in a bottle at a cleanup and connected to the writer!

CNN Heroes 10th Anniversary did an update show back in December, and we were lucky enough to be featured! The video clip now lives on the interweb. Take a look to see what’s been happening since Chad Pregracke was awarded Hero of the Year back in 2013.

Small Town Big Deal is airing on RFD-TV on Thursday, December 1 at 8:30pm CT and featuring us during our Alternative Spring Break in Memphis, TN!

Thanks Enerfab!

We would like to send a huge thank you to Enerfab in Cincinnati, OH for allowing us to park and unload our barges on their property next week!

In ties with our 2016 Ohio River Tour, we will be teaming up with ORSANCO! This June they will be holding their annual River Sweep starting in Pittsburgh, PA and ending in Cairo, IL and they need your help! Visit to learn more or find a site near you!

We are so excited to announce that on Wednesday, May 5 2016 LL&W planted our ONE MILLIONTH tree at Riverdale Elementary School in Port Byron, IL!

Ruck & Ralley

LL&W is teaming up with Quad City CrossFit for their first ever “QCCF Ruck and Rally” on May 21, 2016 starting at 2pm. Ladies will ruck from their Davenport location, while Men ruck from their Moline location, and meet up at the Daiquiri Factory for food and drinks (Food is provided)! All proceeds go to LL&W! Click here to register now:

*Men begin at: QCCF Motown, 3800 River Drive, Moline, IL 61265*
*Women begin at: QCCF Davenport, 5335 Carey Ave, Davenport, IA 52804*
*Both end at: Daiquiri Factory, 1809 2nd Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201 *

A very cool video done by John Deere. We are so excited to kick off our 2016 season with the help of our new operations!

On 9/2/15 we officially launched our new barge and operations! With the help of a new John Deere Excavator with a custom 50-feet reach, and mini-tug, we aim to remove 1 million pounds of trash from America’s Rivers this season!

LL&W has spent the summer getting ready for our Ohio River Tour this fall. A new barge, mini truckable tow boat and John Deere excavator will soon join our fleet! With the help of our new additions, it is our goal to remove 1 million lbs of trash this year.

Starting on Monday, August 24th you can help LL&W win an office technology makeover valued at up to $15,000 as part of the “Make My Non-Profit Run Better”

Better mark your calendars for Saturday, June 13th! The first 1,500 fans in to the Quad Cities River Bandits game will receive their very own Chad Pregracke bobblehead!

LL&W is now officially a part of the eBay Giving Works program. What’s that mean? You can now support our mission when you buy and sell on eBay!

SUBWAY® restaurants located in the Quad Cities areas are joining forces with Living Lands & Waters to give back to the local community. From April 15th to August 31st, more than 75 local SUBWAY® restaurants will participate in the “You Share. We Share.” campaign to help support Living Lands & The “You Share. We Share” campaign encourages the community to get out and share their weekends with SUBWAY® restaurants, and SUBWAY® will share right back by donating a percentage of weekend sales, up to $10,000, directly to Living Lands & Waters. As locally owned and operated franchises, SUBWAY® is excited to be able tofurther it’s commitment to the local community.

We have started out on our first ever Tennessee River Tour! Stopping in 6 ports along the way, we are excited to partner with local organizations, hold educational workshops, river cleanups, tree plantings, and more!

Our Impact

  • Pounds of Trash Removed


  • Volunteers Involved


  • Students Educated


  • Trees Planted


© 2019 Living Lands & Waters

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