While his name may not be Huck or Tom and he is by no means awork of fiction, Chad Pegracke is every bit an American icon. Ayoung man full of endless passion, energy and pluck (yes, pluck),who decided one day, while he was still in his teens, that he wanted to clean up our country’s major rivers and watersheds. So on a fateful Thursday morning, Chad set off in his tiny boat down the Mississippi and by day’s end he had hauled in a culvert pipe, a refrigerator, three barrels, and as many bottles and cans as his boat would hold. Ten years, six rivers, and millions of pounds of trash later, Chad and his organization, Living Lands and Waters, have through sheer determination, thousands of volunteers, and a drive to do the right thing—transformed rivers teeming with waste into the beautiful treasures they were intended to be. On the following pages, you’ll get a sense of how one man’s dream has become a national crusade.