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  • Writer's pictureThe Cleanup Team

Meijer Expands Great Lakes Stewardship Commitment with Donation to the Council of the Great Lakes Region Foundation

Donation will help improve water and wildlife quality in river corridors throughout Wisconsin


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 16, 2024 



Midwest retailer Meijer is continuing its commitment to Great Lakes stewardship with a $250,000 donation to the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) Foundation to launch a set of innovative litter capture and clean-up technologies – the BeBot and PixieDrone – in Wisconsin, following a successful year of cleaning up Midwest beaches and waterways.


The first retailer to support this beach and water cleaning technology in the Great Lakes, Meijer is proud to preserve the many vital waterways within its six-state footprint and first announced its partnership with the CGLR in 2022 with the deployment of the BeBot and PixieDrone. Despite having a limited number of drones, CGLR partners deployed the technology last year to collect an estimated 18,000 pieces of debris.


"At Meijer, we continue to make significant progress in protecting our beautiful Great Lakes so they can be enjoyed for generations to come," said Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability at Meijer. "We are grateful to partner with the CGLR, which helps us live our purpose of enriching lives in the communities we serve and expand our environmental partnerships in important markets that directly impact our Midwest footprint."


The donation brings a new BeBot and PixieDrone specifically to Milwaukee Riverkeeper, an organization focused on water and wildlife quality in river corridors throughout the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. This marks the retailer's second partnership in Wisconsin and fifth across the Midwest. Existing partners include Grand Valley State University, Ohio Sea Grant/The Ohio State University, The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Environmental Research and Innovation Center.


"We are honored to partner with Meijer and the CGLR on this exciting, new project to restore and protect our Great Lakes. Innovative solutions can only be accomplished through collaborative efforts like this one," said Juan Alsace, Board Chairman of Milwaukee Riverkeeper. "These new automated machines will generate data critical to helping our communities make informed decisions to address pollution locally, and to find creative solutions globally."


Meijer remains committed to improving the health and biodiversity of the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water, recreation, and economic opportunities for millions of people throughout the Midwest. Meijer also supports various initiatives that aim to restore and protect the natural habitats, water quality, and fish populations of the Great Lakes basin, forming imperative partnerships with those who know the region best.


Continuing its community impact, Meijer will also host a public beach cleanup at Lighthouse Park Beach in Manitowoc, Wisc., starting at noon CDT on May 9. At the event, partners from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will be launching their BeBot for the season. To register, click here.


"The CGLR Foundation is very pleased to be partnering with Meijer to expand the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup to Milwaukee, a joint initiative with Pollution Probe in Canada," said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the CGLR. "Through our partnership with Meijer, we are able to use innovative capture and cleanup technologies to learn more about the type of plastics on our beaches and in our waterways, sources and pathways, and how government, industry, coastal communities, and consumers can work together to end plastic waste and litter."


To learn more about CGLR, visit councilgreatlakesregion.org. To learn more about how Meijer has recently supported its communities and to see the devices in action, visit meijercommunity.com.


About Meijer: Meijer is a privately owned, family-operated retailer that serves customers at more than 500 supercenters, grocery stores, neighborhood markets, and express locations throughout the Midwest. As the pioneer of the one-stop shopping concept, more than 70,000 Meijer team members work hard to deliver a friendly, seamless in-store and online shopping experience featuring an assortment of fresh foods, high-quality apparel, household essentials, and health and wellness products and services. Meijer is consistently recognized as a Great Place to Work and annually donates at least 6 percent of its profit to strengthen its communities. Additional information on the company can be found by visiting newsroom.meijer.com.


About the CGLR: The CGLR is a binational group of related organizations comprised of: (1) the Council of the Great Lakes Region (USA), an Ohio-based trade association; (2) the CGLR Foundation, an Ohio-based public charity; (3) the Council of the Great Lakes Region (Canada), a not-for-profit corporation; and (4), the CGLR Canada Foundation, a charitable organization. Together, they are working to accelerate the regional transition to a sustainable future by uniquely bringing diverse perspectives and interests together as one to explore and solve the most pressing socioeconomic and environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes region to create the first sustainable region in North America and the world. Visit https://councilgreatlakesregion.org to learn more.


About the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup: The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup, an initiative of the Council of the CGLR and Pollution Probe, uses innovative technologies to quickly remove plastics from Great Lakes beaches and waterways, from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior and everywhere in between. The litter collected is analyzed, providing vital information about pollution sources and pathways and how government, industry, communities, and consumers can work together to end plastic waste. The largest initiative of its kind in North America, the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup is made possible thanks to support from a network of funders and collaborators across the binational Great Lakes region. Visit www.greatlakesplasticcleanup.org to learn more.



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