MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dave and Amy Freeman are making their way to Washington, D.C. — in a canoe.

The couple is paddling 2,000 miles from Ely to the nation’s capitol. They’re on a mission to draw attention to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

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They want to help make sure the area will continue to enjoy the federal protection it’s had for 50 years, under the Wilderness Act of 1964

“We are really worried about the sulfide ore mining that’s being proposed and the threat that it brings to the area,” Freeman said.

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They are using a canoe for most of the trip, but will sail through the Great Lakes.

“We also just want to raise awareness about what a special place this is, and why it needs to be protected,” Freeman said.

He says there are 18,000 tourism-based jobs in northern Minnesota, and they also need to be protected.

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The Freemans hope to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 3.