2013 CNN Hero of the Year to headline annual conference

posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in Council News

Katy Heggen, Iowa Environmental Council
office: 515-244-1194 x 210

2013 CNN Hero of the Year to headline 2015 Annual Conference

September 23, 2015 (DES MOINES, IA) – Chad Pregracke, the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, author, president and founder of Living Lands & Waters; a non-profit river clean up organization headquartered in the Quad Cities, will present the keynote address at the Iowa Environmental Council’s 2015 Annual Conference, Elevate: Creating an Environment of Action. The event will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015 at Drake University in Des Moines.

Best known for starting out as a young man in East Moline, Illinois wanting a cleaner waterway, Chad has become a champion for the Mississippi River. Chad and his Living Lands & Waters crew have organized and led over 800 cleanups on 23 rivers in 20 states, and removed an estimated eight million pounds of garbage. Chad had an idea that evolved into a movement that has helped to restore one of America’s greatest icons, the Mississippi River.

Chad will be joined by a dynamic slate of speakers including natural resource, energy, agricultural, social science, communications, legal and advocacy experts. These leaders, who hail from across the Midwest, Washington D.C. and Vancouver, will take to the stage to speak about a variety of topics ranging from work being done to increase agricultural action on climate issues, the sociology of sustainability, bridging the clean energy divide, and protecting our natural resources with legal tools. 

WHAT: Iowa Environmental Council 2015 Annual Conference – Elevate: Creating an Environment of Action
WHEN: Friday, October 2, 2015
WHERE: Olmsted Center, Drake University, Des Moines
Tickets are available at iaenvironment.org

The theme of this year’s conference, which also marks the Council’s 20th anniversary, is elevate. The event will focus on providing participants with knowledge, information and resources to identify opportunities, define moments and move interest to action.

“In the past twenty years, we have accomplished a great deal, but much work remains,” said Executive Director Ralph Rosenberg. “This past year we have seen record numbers of beach closures due to blue-green algae blooms, an increase in the percentage of assessed Iowa waters deemed ‘impaired,’ and high levels of nitrates threatening our drinking waters. We’ve seen numerous attempts to block access to some forms of renewable energy, and several efforts aimed at slowing Iowa’s transition to clean energy and energy efficiency. The need to elevate and escalate our work is urgent. The challenges we face are great, but so is the determination of Iowans that care about our state’s natural resources.”

Members of the media are invited to attend the conference. Chad Pregracke is available for media interviews upon request. To request an interview, contact Communications & Outreach Director Katy Heggen at 515-244-1194 x210 or Heggen@iaenvironment.org

Thank you to our event sponsors:
BNIM | Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation | Drake University Environmental Science & Policy Program | Growing Green Communities | Iowa Association of Water Agencies | Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation | Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture | Practical Farmers of Iowa | Raccoon River Watershed Association | Riley Resource Group | Waste Commission of Scott County | Wells Fargo


The Iowa Environmental Council is an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment. Since 1995, the Council has worked toward creating a safe, healthy environment and sustainable future for Iowa, focusing on water and land stewardship, clean energy and air quality.