This Man Is The Reason 7 Million Pounds Of Trash Have Been Removed From America's Rivers

November 21, 2013

Chad Pregracke

67,000 tires, 951 refrigerators, 233 stoves and counting.

With help from over 70,000 volunteers, Chad Pregracke and his crew have removed 7 million pounds of garbage from various American rivers.

helping clean rivers chad Pregracke

Pregracke grew up by the Mississippi River, where 18 million people get their daily drinking water.

"I said if no one's going to do anything about it, I will."

chad Pregracke
Photo: Commercial Appeal, Brandon Dill

"People want to see change, and they're stepping up to make change."

cleaning mississippi river

Obviously cleaning up piles of trash, piece by piece, is not what most people would consider fun. To keep volunteers excited, Pregracke provides entertainment...

karaoke on boat

keep it fun

"This is a problem that people created...but a problem that people can fix." ~Chad Pregracke

cleaning rivers

Chad Pregracke was chosen as "Hero of the Year" through a five-week public vote on CNN.com. He was awarded $250,000 for his efforts, but his passion for 'doing good' didn't stop there. He is giving $10,000 to each of the 9 finalists that did not win.

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