Rivers' garbageman named CNN Hero of the Year 2013 #CNN
(CNN) -- Chad Pregracke, an Illinois man who has dedicated his lifeto cleaning the Mississippi River and other U.S. waterways, was named the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year on Tuesday night.Pregracke organizes community cleanups across the country through his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters. About 70,000 volunteers have pitched in, helping Pregracke collect more than 7 million pounds of trash in the past 15 years.
"The garbage got into the water one piece at a time," Pregracke said earlier this year. "And that's the only way it's going to come out."
Pregracke was recognized Tuesday night along with the rest of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes -- everyday people doing extraordinary things to help change the world. He was chosen as Hero of the Year through a five-week public vote on CNN.com.