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.


  • Duke of Paducah – Chad Pregracke was named Duke of Paducah by Mayor Brandi Harless – December 7, 2017
  • 2017 Golden Glow Awards – The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) awarded its highest honor to three recipients at its recent annual conference at Lake of the Woods, Minnesota.  Golden Glow Awards were presented in the Excellence-In-Craft, Organization, and Individual categories during the Clam Outdoors Golden Glow Banquet at the Sportsman’s Lodge – September 27, 2017 – Click for more information.
  • Outstanding Community Service – The State of California Senate presented this certificate of recognition in honor of “Outstanding Community Service – In special recognition of your unyielding commitment and dedication to the betterment of our community and for your exemplary leadership and advocacy effort as founder of Living Lands & Waters.” Signed by Senator Joel Anderson, August 31, 2017.
  • “The Chad Pregracke” –  Marquette Transportation Co. 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