Dave and Amy Freeman set out Wednesday for a one-year trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota, according to Adventure Blog. The Freemans, who were named the 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, hope to raise awareness about imminent sulfide mining operations in the Voyageurs National Park region that could impact the wild public lands of northern Minnesota. When exposed to air or water, sulfide mines can produce acid, which can contaminate lakes and rivers, according to the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.
The couple will explore remote areas of northern Minnesota by foot, canoe, and dogsled. Last year, the Freemans paddled from Ely, Minnesota, to Washington, DC, to petition for legislators to oppose sulfide mining operations in Minnesota, according to the Cook County News Herald.
The Freemans pushed off from Ely at 2:15 p.m. CDT, accompanied by family, friends, and supporters who will paddle with them for the first leg of their expedition.