CNN’s newly crowned Hero of the Year for 2013, Chad Pregracke, arrived in New Orleans on December 4 to host a series of river cleanups and educational workshops aboard his organization, Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), floating classroom, headquarters and garbage barges. The cleanups, focused on cleaning up the Mississippi River’s shoreline in the immediate New Orleans area take place December 9, 10 and 11, and educational workshops for local high school students will take place on December 6 and 9 at Woldenberg Park.
LL&W was last in New Orleans in the fall of 2005 when they brought supplies down river and helped clean up after hurricane Katrina.
LL&W Founder and President Chad Pregracke grew up on the Mississippi River in East Moline, Illinois and has made it his mission to take care of neglected rivers. Most recently, Pregracke was awarded the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year award for his efforts in removing unsightly and toxic accumulations of trash along rivers’ banks. Since 1998, nearly 70,000 volunteers have helped Pregracke and his non-profit remove more than 7 million pounds of garbage from 23 rivers across the country.
Pregracke said, “We are honored and pleased to have so much support in the New Orleans area. We are happy to return, after 8 years, to bring the health of our rivers to the attention of everyone who depends upon them, and then working to improve it.”
Living Lands & Waters efforts in the New Orleans area are sponsored by Turn Services/Association Terminals, Canal Barge Company, Cargill/Cargo Carriers, AEP River Operations, ACL, Marquette Transportation, and the Port of New Orleans.