Environment & Weather
Governor Branstad Issues Disaster Proclamation for Ten Counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 15 April 2013 07:37

(DES MOINES)  – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today issued a proclamation of disaster emergency in response to severe weather that impacted ten counties in northwest Iowa.

Counties included in the proclamation are Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Sioux. Beginning April 9, damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms and freezing rains caused damage to public and private property, power outages from downed power lines and poles, and a large amount of debris.

The Governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms, including for removal of debris and wreckage on publicly or privately owned land that may threaten public health and safety, or public and private property.

A copy of the proclamation of disaster emergency can be found at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.

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XSTREAM CLEANUP TURNS 10, SEEKS CLEANUP SITES PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brandy Welvaert   
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:01

QUAD CITIES—Xstream Cleanup, the Quad-Cities’ annual, volunteer-based cleanup of area waterways, is turning 10 this year—and community input is needed.

Xstream organizers are looking for new cleanup sites and encourage members of the community to make suggestions. If a site is dirty, litter-ridden or host to illegal dumping, organizers want to hear about it! To make a suggestion, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (563) 468-4218.

The annual cleanup, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this summer, will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, August 10, 2013.

In celebration of this milestone, organizers plan to release a series of mini-documentaries over the summer to highlight event accomplishments, to recognize the volunteers and organizations that make it happen, and to raise awareness about water quality in the Quad-Cities.

“At its heart, Xstream Cleanup is about the community picking up, dragging out and hauling away unwanted trash and debris from its waterways. We value our water and our waterways, and Xstream Cleanup proves that, as a community, we’re willing to sweat together to protect and improve them,” says Curtis Lundy, longtime chair of Xstream Cleanup.

As the cleanup date approaches, mini-documentary releases, a complete media kit, photos, and more will be available for view and/or download at www.xstreamcleanup.org. Volunteer registration will begin online in June. In addition, periodic updates about the event will be released on the Xstream Cleanup Facebook page.

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Simon, river council to learn about Mississippi River forecast PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kara Beach   
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:51

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will convene a quarterly meeting of the Mississippi River Coordinating Council (MRCC) on Wednesday. Dr. Jim Angel, state climatologist for the Illinois State Water Survey, will present a Mississippi River depth forecast to the group, and outline the impact the drought in Western states has had on Illinois water levels.

“It is important that we take a wide-angle view at drought and our waterways,” Lt. Governor Simon said. “While we continue to recover from the 2012 drought, states west of Illinois are still facing drought conditions – something we need to keep an eye on as we plan for the 2013 agricultural season.”

The MRCC will also hear an update on Asian carp migration from James Garvey, director of the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at SIU Carbondale. Garvey recently released a report identifying the need to manage the Asian carp population so the species does not invade the Great Lakes.

DATE: Wednesday, April 3

TIME: 1:30 p.m.

PLACE: State Library, Room 403/404, 300 S. Second St., Springfield

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Pregracke To Be Honored With The Order Of Lincoln PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 14:44

Quad City Native Honored For His Devotion to Cleaning Up Rivers

East Moline, IL/April 2, 2013 – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois recognizes Chad Pregracke for its highest honor, the Order of Lincoln. The Academy will present Pregracke with this award at its 49th Annual Convocation at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13th at Augustana College’s Centennial Hall. The Order of Lincoln is presented to those who have a devotion to public service and the betterment of humanity

Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 at the age of 23. In the past 15 years, he and his crew have worked with more than 70,000 volunteers and have collected and removed more than 6 million pounds of debris from our waterways. Living Lands & Waters works throughout the Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio rivers, as well as many of their tributaries.

“This is an incredible honor not only for myself but for Living Lands & Waters and our volunteers. What we do wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our volunteers” said Pregracke. “I’m looking forward to continuing to fight the fight against trash and debris in our waterways.”

There are six recipients of the 2013 Order of Lincoln Award; they are Brenda Barnes, William Hammer, Timothy Johnson, Bob Lane, Bob Ontiveros and Chad Pregracke.

“These six incredible individuals have one thing in common, and that’s our community,” Kai Swanson, executive assistant to Augustana College President Steve Bahls, said. “They spent a critical time of their lives in the Quad-Cities.”

“Lincoln laureates are those who have excelled in their occupation and have led exemplary volunteer lives,” Julie Kellner, executive director of the Lincoln Academy, said. The Lincoln Academy was established in 1964 and began honoring Illinoisans with the Order of Lincoln Award in 1965.

Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown into an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats.  LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a- River-Mile programs and the MillionTrees Project.

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Davenport’s Central High School Wins $1,000 Prize PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brandy Welvaert   
Monday, 01 April 2013 14:00

Keep America Beautiful Announces Iowa School Recycling Champion

Davenport, IA – First place in Iowa in a nationwide school recycling competition recently went to Central High School in Davenport, where students recycled 14 pounds of material per person, earning $1,000 in school prize money.

“Central has always been dedicated to recycling, but I knew there was still room to improve. I saw this competition as a way to motivate my peers to think about the impact of how they choose to dispose of materials they use. Central was successful in this competition because students and staff were willing to come together to make recycling a priority,” said Daphne Cornish, co-leader of the school’s Environmental Club.

Recycle-Bowl is a comprehensive, nationwide recycling competition for elementary-, middle- and high-school students. The competition, which reached more than 900,000 students across America with schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is facilitated by Keep America Beautiful (www.kab.org), the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. Recycle-Bowl is sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA).

“I couldn’t be more proud of the Environmental Club,” said Gail Heninger, the Central High School teacher who supervises the club. “I think all the members would agree with me that we’ve been lucky to have senior Daphne Cornish as co-leader this year. Daphne not only excels academically, but she has used her time and talents to benefit her school and her community. She’s amazing! It is through the efforts of students like Daphne and her Environmental Club peers that we see a cleaner, brighter future for the environment here in the Quad-Cities—and beyond.”

Environmental Club members will be recognized Thursday, April 4 with a pizza party at the Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Ave., Davenport. Media is invited to the event from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

Central High School’s recycling efforts are supported locally by iLivehere (www.ilivehereqc.org), a Quad-Cities Keep America Beautiful affiliate housed by Waste Commission of Scott County (www.wastecom.com), which operates the Scott Area Recycling Center.

From Oct. 15 through Nov. 9, 2012, schools participating in Recycle-Bowl recycled as much as possible. The total amount of recyclables recovered during the 2012 competition added up to 4.5 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 1,717 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE). In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 334 passenger cars.

If all students in America recycled at the rate of this year’s Recycle-Bowl competitors, approximately 2.4 million tons of material would be diverted annually from landfills. That would be the weight of 201,135 school buses.

“Keep America Beautiful is pleased with the great momentum Recycle-Bowl achieved in its second year, and our congratulations go out not just to Central High School, but to all the effort of students, teachers and school administrators across America,” said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.

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