Paddle to DC ends in the nation's capitol

Paddle to DC

A Quest for Clean Water
Ely to Washington D.C. • August 24-December 2, 2014

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About Paddle to DC

In 2014, Dave and Amy Freeman paddled and sailed on a 101-day, 2,000-mile journey from Ely, Minnesota, to Washington, D.C., to call attention to a proposed sulfide-ore copper mining operation threatening the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Freemans departed Ely by canoe on August 24, 2014, and arrived in Washington, D.C., on December 2, 2014. They made stops in communities along the way, participating in events such as the September 5-7 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in Duluth. In Washington, D.C., they participated in a press conference and co-hosted the Youth Outdoor Collaborative, a wilderness and outdoors youth engagement event for nearly 150 area elementary and middle school students. The youth event was organized by the Freeman’s Wilderness Classroom along with Wilderness Inquiry, Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, National Park Trust and National Park Service.

Stories From the Journey

The New York Times: Minnesota Canoe Couple Ponders Next Adventures (January 5, 2015)
The Mining Journal: Canoeing For A Cause 
(January 5, 2015)
AP: Minnesotans who canoed from BWCA to nation's capital ponder next adventures 
(January 1, 2015)
USDA Blog: 2,000 Miles in 100 Days, Delivering a Message of Advocacy, Adventure 
(December 23, 2014)
Pioneer Press: Canoe trip from BWCA to White House with mining on the mind 
(December 20, 2014)
Audubon Magazine: Stirring The Waters 
(December 11, 2014)
National Geographic: 
2,000 Miles to DC—By Canoe—to Protect the Boundary Waters
 (December 5, 2014)
Minnesota Public Radio: Protesting mining, couple completes canoe trip to DC (December 3, 2014)
Twin Cities Business: 
After 2,000-Mile Anti-Mining Canoe Trek, Minnesota Couple Arrives In DC
 (December 3, 2014)
Star Tribune: Minnesotans steer canoe and BWCA petition 2,000 miles to Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2014)
Pioneer Press: Northern Minnesota adventurers paddle to D.C. to oppose mining (December 3, 2014)
KDAL: Paddlers Complete Ely To Washington, D.C. Journey (December 2, 2014) Couple paddles 2,000 miles from Minnesota to D.C. (November 21, 2014)
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News: Save the Boundary Waters tour to stop in local area(September 22, 2014)
KUWS: Paddle petition to President over proposed Minnesota mine (September 21, 2014)
WCCO: Minn. Couple Paddles To Wash. DC For BWCA Protection (September 6, 2014)
Timberjay:  Paddles up! Ely couple begins 100-day journey to Washington, D.C. (August 27, 2014)

Paddle to DC: A Quest for Clean Water

A film by Nate Ptacek






Meet Dave and Amy

Learn more about Dave and Amy Freeman, a pair committed to protecting the Boundary Waters through adventure advocacy.

Dave and Amy
Dave and Amy

Support the Campaign

Learn about Dave and Amy's next adventure
A Year in the Wilderness

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Questions & Media Inquiries

For more information, contact Samantha Chadwick at

For media inquiries, contact Ellie Bayrd at

Thank You to Our Supporters

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