Living Lands & Waters Removes 10 Millionth Pound Of Trash From Nation’s Waterways

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.

Headquartered in East Moline, Ill., Living Lands & Waters is made up of a 10-person team that coordinates with more than 100,000 volunteers on 24 rivers across 21 states.

In addition to removing more than 10 million pounds of trash, the organization said it has planted over 1 million trees and educated more than 12,500 students and teachers on the value of rivers.

“I can promise that every one of us at Living Lands & Waters will continue working as hard as we possibly can for cleaner rivers and oceans,” Pregracke said in an announcement. “Next year’s goal is to remove a million pounds of garbage in just one year.”

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The organization is now looking for contributions to help fund its river clean up and environmental improvement projects. “It’s been another extremely rewarding year and our motivation to continue is stronger than ever,” Pregracke added. “I’m aware of the many great organizations doing amazing work, so your choice to continue to support us is a true honor.” Donations can be made at www.livinglandsandwaters.org.

In its 20 years of service, Living Lands & Waters has collected more than 510,000 square feet of Styrofoam; 9,147 55-gallon barrels; 89 messages in bottles, over 6,000 5-gallon buckets; more than 125,000 bags of trash; 18 vehicles; 62 shopping carts; 1,330 milk crates; nearly 43,000 feet of barge line; 1,174 trash cans; more than 24,000 balls; 749 coolers; over 87,500 tires; 833 refrigerators; 357 TVs; and more.