The Unlikely Environmentalist

How Chad Pregracke went from skater dude to the Mississippi River’s most impassioned caretaker is as odd a story as you’ll ever hear along the banks of the mighty river.

By Adam Hinterthuer

But don’t expect him to take credit for what has followed. When he talks about the XStream Cleanup, he swears it wasn’t even his idea. “I didn’t do it,” he says. “The whole thing started because so many people were calling and wanting to do something. So we found some spots, took them out in the boats to clean up, and the people loved it, dude. They were animals. They were freakin’ savages out there.”

I suggest they may have just been feeding off Pregracke’s enthusiasm, but he doesn’t want to hear it, and anyway, he needs to get back to work. He holds out his fist for a pound, and I remember to blow it up.

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