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CNN Hero of the Year to Visit WKCTC Follows River Cleanup Project in Paducah

Chad PegrackeCNNs 2013 Hero of the Year, Chad Pregracke, will visit West Kentucky Community and Technical College September 9.

Pregracke grew up on the river and those experiences led to his work to clean up the Mississippi. At age 23, he founded the river cleanup organization, Living Lands amp; Waters.

Since then, Pregracke, along with 70,000 volunteers, have collected more than seven million pounds of debris along the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers. He and his crew spend up to nine months each year living and traveling on a barge hosting river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other important conservation efforts.

Pregracke will share his experiences with students and the community during his presentation, Helping to Clean Americas Rivers: From the Bottom Up, September 9 at 7 p.m. in WKCTCs Crounse Hall 101. Admission is free and open to the public.

From underwater shell-diving to open-air community cleanups, Pregrackes presentation will teach the importance of setting goals, one river and one piece of garbage at a time, and illustrates how determination pays off.

Pregrackes presentation at WKCTC will follow several days of educational and river cleanup work in Paducah, including a cleanup project with WKCTC ecology students and other local organizations.

In addition to being named a CNN Hero of the Year, Pregracke accepted the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2012 alongside Bill and Melinda Gates, Rudolph Giuliani, and Lilly Tartikoff.

For more information, visit, or contact the Clemens Fine Arts Center box office at (270) 534-3212.