His name’s a familiar one to anyone living in and around the Quad Cities, in the news month after month, year after year, for pulling millions of pounds of garbage out of the Mississippi River and other waterways in America.
Now, CNN has named him their 2013 Hero of the Year.
Nominated along with nine other CNN Heroes, Pregracke received the award Tuesday night– the special is set to air on December 1st at 7:00 p.m. CST.
In addition to the $50,000 Pregracke and his group Living Lands and Waters received for being in the Top 10, Pregracke will receive an additional $250,000 according to CNN, which sponsored the competition.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan was part of the award presentation, and paid high praise to the Quad Cities on Twitter:
Anderson Cooper also discussed Pregracke’s accomplishments during Tuesday’s taping of “Late Show with David Letterman”:
Pregracke founded the non-profit Living Lands and Waters organization, which has rallied about 70,000 volunteers since 1998 to remove more than 7-million pounds of trash from 22 rivers in the United States.
In the Quad cities, Pregracke hosts the annual Xstream Cleanup. He also travels across the country promoting river cleanup efforts.
Check out more of what CNN said about Pregracke’s selection as the 2013 Hero of the Year - click here.