"I hope the bottles speak to people," Pregracke said. "And I hope it does a good enough job to tell the story, so they get it, and they look deeper into the issues of pollution and littering. If you were just to have an exhibit on garbage in the rivers, I don't think people would be compelled to walk across the room and take it all in. But here, it's an invitation to learn more about our rivers. And it's something I hope will stay with people."
[Click through to view the full article By Maggie Gordon at www.houstonchronicle.com.]
By MEREDITH SIEMSEN
"In the Figge Museum’s Message in a Bottle Collection, specially constructed boxes display the bottles, and a map shows where they were found.
In 1560, Queen Elizabeth I created the official position of “Uncorker of Ocean Bottles” to ensure that naval secrets sent through the ocean’s currents were not seen by undeserving eyes. She meant business. Any man, woman, or child caught opening a message from the sea was risking life and limb. Literally. Ew.
Chad Pregracke, by pure happenstance, is a modern-day finder of secrets gone adrift. In this age, capital punishment no longer applies for the uncorking of bottled messages, thank goodness, because Chad has found, read, and safeguarded scores of them over the past few decades..."
[Click here to read the full article from The Iowa Source.]
Photo by CNN staff.
By CNN Staff
"They've been romanticized in movies and songs, but many people really do send messages in a bottle.
Chad Pregracke has found 64 of them, accumulating what he believes to be one of the world's largest collections.
The 2013 CNN Hero of the Year stumbled onto them while cleaning up the country's rivers. Since 1997, he and volunteers of his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters, have removed more than 7 million pounds of debris from U.S. waterways."
[Click for full CNN article.]
Photos by Tim A. Parker, for USA TODAY
By Lauren Ashburn, USA TODAY
"ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER NEAR ST. LOUIS — With his sparkling blue eyes, salty demeanor and pure river grit, Chad Pregracke, 34, could pass for a real-life Garret Blake, the role played by Kevin Costner in the 1999 movie Message in a Bottle, in which a man devastated by the death of his wife sends tragic love letters into the ocean.But Pregracke doesn't send bottles with messages, he collects them. And in what has become a side hobby, he reads glimpses of the lives of those who sent them into the unknown..."
[Click for full article from USA Today.]