Skip to Main Content


  1. Lt. Governor

Lt. Governor Simon to recognize “2013 CNN Hero of the Year” Chad Pregracke 

SPRINGFIELD – May 14, 2014. In an effort to promote volunteer opportunities and encourage environmental awareness, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will recognize “2013 CNN Hero of the Year” Chad Pregracke during the river coordinating councils meeting on Wednesday in Springfield.

“Chad Pregracke is a shining example of someone dedicating himself to an important cause and making a difference,” said Simon. “I am excited that our river council members will have the opportunity to meet with and be inspired by Chad. All of us value our rivers – Chad is someone who has put those values into action.”

Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters when he was just 23 years old to clean up the Mississippi River around his home in East Moline. Since founding the non-profit in 1998, his crew and over 70,000 volunteers have collected over 7.5 million pounds of debris from rivers in Illinois and around the country. Simon noted that Living Lands & Waters has numerous volunteer opportunities like river cleanups, the MillionTrees Project and Adopt-A-River Mile program.

Simon chairs three River Coordinating Councils charged with the mission of reviewing state and federal programs that impact the watersheds and working with local communities to raise awareness of and address watershed issues. For more on Living Lands & Waters and information on how to volunteer please click here.