Awards and Honors

The LL&W crew has worked hard cleaning up the Mississippi and America’s rivers for the past 19 years, and we are grateful, and often humbled, to be recognized for it.


  • “The Chad Pregracke” christening ceremony in St. Louis, MO thanks to Marquette Transportation Co., who has named their latest M/V (motor vessel) after our fearless leader – May 23, 2017 – More Information


  • Chad honored as a CNN Superhero – December 8, 2016 – more information
  • Chad was presented with the River Bell – Distinguished Service Award from the Seaman’s Church Institute – December 8, 2016 


  • Awarded keys to three of Alabama’s “Quad Cities,” which are framed and happily hanging on a barge wall. The cities are: Florence, Sheffield and Tuscumbia.


  • Illinois proclaims December 1 as Chad Pregracke DayNovember 27, 2013official proclamation details
  • CNN Hero of the YearNovember 19, 2013
  • The Order of LincolnGiven by the Academy of Lincoln at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL April 13th, 2013


  • National Rivers Hall of Fame Dubuque – Iowa National Achievement AwardPresented at the Waterways Council Inc. Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA October 21st, 2011
  • Points of Light Tribute – “A Celebration of Service”Recognition honoring Chad Pregracke, JFK Center Washington, DC March 21st, 2011


    • Lincolnland Legends HonoreeIllinois Dollars for Scholars February 10th, 2010
    • Black Hawk College Alumni Hall of FameAugust 8th, 2010
    • Mitchum’s “Hardest Working Person in America”August 18th, 2010
    • Honorary Citizen of the YearCity of Rock Island, Illinois August 23rd, 2010


        • Community Builder AwardMoline Lodge no. 1014 A.F. & A.M. August 8th, 2009
        • Heartland Community College Distinguished Alumni AwardHeartland Community College, Normal, Illinois April 20th, 2009
        • Dedication of The Pregracke CenterHeartland Community College, Normal, Illinois April 20th, 2009


        • Golden Glow Individual AwardAssociation of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers September 2008
        • Nominated for Heroes of ConservationField & Stream Magazine September 2008
        • River Industry Executive Task Force honored Chad for his commitment to river ecosystem restoration and his visionary achievement in building alliances for a cleaner riverPresented at the “Make Change Possible”- Inland Waterways Conference March 4th, 2008


        • Distinguished Alumnus AwardIllinois Community College Trustees Association June 8th, 2007
        • Environmental Hero Award from Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn for MillionTrees Project
        • Take Pride in AmericaUnited States Department of Interior


        • 2006 River Steward Awardpresented by Prairie Rivers Network
        • 2005 Quad Citian of the Yearpresented by Best of the Quad Cities 2005 River Cities’ Reader Poll. Award presented in 2006
        • Outstanding Alumni Award2006 American Association of Community Colleges


        • Achievement in ConservationHannah Caldwell Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution
        • Environmental Stewardship AwardNational Mississippi River Parkway Commission, Minneapolis, Minnesota
        • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Award (NOAA)
        • People Are Today’s Heroes (PATH) AwardGovernor Rod R. Blagojevich


        • Quad-Cities Area Leaders under 40Black Hawk College Foundation, Moline, IL
        • Seventh annual “What’s Right with the Region!” award presented by FOCUS St. Louis


        • Social Entrepreneurship AwardManhattan Institute for Policy Research
        • Honorary DoctorateSt. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA
        • Hall of FameUnited Township High School, East Moline, IL
        • National Fishing Hall of FameHayward, WI


        • The Jefferson Award, presented by the American Institute for Public Service (comparable to the Nobel Prize)Awarded for Community Service in Washington, D.C.
        • Outstanding Achievement AwardMary Little Deere-Fort Armstrong Chapter NSDAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)


        • Hometown Hero Hall of FameTEK Extra Magazine for Kids (A Time Magazine publication distributed to schools)
        • Humanitarian AwardSouthern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Days
        • Excellence in Education AwardBlack Hawk College
        • Best Conservation ActivitiesMary Little Deere-Fort Armstrong Chapter NSDAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)
        • Biography Magazine Top 10 Future Classics in America Award


E-chievement AwardE Town (National Public Radio)

  • Merit AwardSoil and Water Conservation Society
  • Eddy Award for Environmental StewardshipRiver Action
  • Making Waves Award (Peoria, IL)Clean Water Celebration
  • Conservationist of the Year AwardIzaak Walton League, Iowa Chapter
  • Distinguished Community ServiceRock Island Rotary
  • Chuck Yeager AwardNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Fellow of the Institute (Augustana College)Institute for Leadership & Services
  • Key to the CityQuincy, IL
  • MetrobankEagle Award for Community Service



        • Environmental Stewardship AwardPutnam Museum of Natural History
        • Merit AwardSoil and Water Conservation Society, Illinois Chapter


        • John H. Williams Community Service AwardCommunity Caring Conference
        • Citizen Conservationist of the YearIllinois Wildlife Federation


        • Certification of RecognitionModern Woodman of America
        • Appreciation AwardNorthern Zone Association of Illinois Wildlife Foundation
        • Illinois Jaycees Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award