Photos: Floatzilla & cleanup in the Quad Cities

Paddlers come down the Mississippi to River Action’s Floatzilla 2012 — the Quad Cities Third Annual paddlesports celebration, Saturday, Aug. 18. This photo was taken from the top of a levy, showing how low the river is, which has closed 11 miles of the Mississippi near Greenville, Miss., with almost 100 vessels awaiting passage. (Photo by Frank Schier)
Chad Pregracke, founder of Living Lands and Waters, stands on the top viewing deck of his barge, which also features nearby solar panels. As he states on his website: “Headquartered in East Moline, Illinois, Living Lands & Waters is a 501 (c)(3) environmental organization that was established by Chad Pregracke in 1998. Since the organization was founded, Living Lands & Waters has grown to be the only ‘industrial strength’ river cleanup organization like us in the world. Spending up to 9 months a year living and traveling on our barge, the Living Lands & Waters’ crew hosts river cleanups, workshops, tree planting.” Pregracke donated oak trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative in 2011 and 2012, resulting in 20,000 oaks being planted on the 300 miles of the course of the Rock River in Illinois and Wisconsin. Living Lands and Waters’ tugboat features murals by Justin Dirks and Adam Sherman of St. Louis. (Photo by Frank Schier)
The Burger Boat owner Wally Geffert (right, with brimmed hat) and his daughter Becka were on the water at Lake Potter to grill Floatzilla Festival folks’ lunches to order, featuring burgers, brats, chicken, pork-ts and drinks. Ever eaten a burger in a kayak? The Rock River Times’ Editor & Publisher Frank Schier is now a fan of the Burger Boat, by land. (Photo by Frank Schier)
Assorted dolls picked out of the Mississippi adorn a chain link fence on board a Living Lands and Waters barge as Floatzilla canoeists go by to attempt to break the Guiness World Record. (Photo by Frank Schier)
Besides the art tugboat, the Living Lands and Waters floatilla consists of two garbage barges in the foreground with the home barge in the background that has a classroom, dorm rooms, offices and crew quarters on board. Pregracke is a supporter of the arts and a real recycler. Artists from Chicago were on board, picking items out of the Mississippi refuse to create found art pieces. Pregracke pilots the barges on the Mississippi picking up all kinds of refuse and running educational programs on the environment. For information, go to (Photo by Frank Schier)

From the Aug. 22-28, 2012, issue

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