Congratulations & Thank You, Chad Pregracke

When Chad Pregracke was selected CNN 2013 Hero of the Year, it was a win for all who support conservation and stewardship of America's rivers.
Since 1998, when Pregracke organized Living Lands & Waters, he and volunteers have worked on river cleanups and watershed conservation. Memphis's industrial harbor, McKellar Lake, has been one of the many sites to benefit. Litter tossed from a car in south Memphis often ends up in Nonconnah Creek before it dumps into McKellar Lake and then into the MS River.
Locally Memphis River Warriors, formed on the University of Memphis campus, is following in Pregracke's footsteps with clean-ups year-round. On Nov. 16, 175 volunteers helped clean-up the Riverside Marina area. Collecting close to 15,000 lbs. of litter in 2 hours, they exceeded their goal of removing 50,000 lbs. of trash from waterways.

River Gator Goes Live!

 River Gator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River  is now complete, live, and interactive!!

This is the 1st-ever such guide written by and for canoeists, kayakers, and stand-up-paddleboarders.  It includes maps, photos, detailed descriptions, and a reference index to quickly access any landing, town, island, back channel, or point of interest along the way.  The Rivergator is open for public use, free of charge. 

The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail, described by The Rivergatoris the longest free-flowing water trail in the continental United States, over 1155 miles from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (including the Middle Miss from the Missouri River confluence).  There are thousands of islands, backchannels, side channels and oxbow lakes to explore.  The trail connects cities, states, public lands, festivals and all of the people and businesses found along the Lower Miss.

A huge thank you to John Ruskey, the author who has been paddling, photographing, and documenting the Lower Mississippi River since 1982, and to the Walton Family Fdn., which believes in  "conservationomics" (lasting solutions that make sense for the economy and the environment) and helps support the website.

Link to River Gator

Link to article by Commercial Appeal journalist Tom Charlier and photographer Brad Vest as they travelled down River from Tamm's Landing in Lauderdale County to Mud Island to help launch the new online paddler's guide. (paywall)