As Michiganders, we're blessed to be surrounded by The Great Lakes

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They offer great fishing, swimming, beautiful beaches, and amazing sunsets but some Michiganders are bothered by the trash that has contaminated the water and lakeshore. Thankfully, there is something being done to try and fix the problem.

New Drones Will Help Clean Lake Michigan Beaches

Thanks to a $1 million donation from Meijer to the Council of the Great Lakes Region,  two new drones are now at the Annis Water Resources Institute.

The drones are part of the efforts of The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup. Lora Shrake, senior program director for business and sustainability at the CGLR, estimated that 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes annually.

How Do The Drones Work?

The drones are electric powered and operated by remote control.

Credit: GVSU
Credit: GVSU / Kendra Stanley-Mills
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BeBot combs beaches, collecting plastic and debris into a trailing receptacle at a rate of 32,000 square feet per hour.

Credit: Fox 17
Credit: Fox 17
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Pixie Drone can skim the water surface and can collect up to 200 pounds of plastic and debris per use. Pixie can also collect data on the water, such as temperature, pH levels, salinity, and dissolved oxygen.

Credit: GVSU / Kendra Stanley-Mills
Credit: GVSU / Kendra Stanley-Mills
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What Is The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup

The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup is a first-of-its-kind initiative using innovative technology to quickly remove plastics at marinas from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior and everywhere in between. The litter collected will be analyzed and valuable plastics will be recovered, to be redirected back into the recycling system and creating reuse opportunities. Throughout, we’ll be working with lake communities and businesses to keep plastics out of our environment and waterways to protect the Great Lakes region, now and for future generations.

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