Save the Boundary Waters

A nonprofit organization

$309,020 Raised by 1,501 Donors

100% complete

$300,000 Goal

Banner Image credit: Jim Brandenburg

Save the Boundary Waters leads the effort to protect the Boundary Waters from toxic copper mining.

Want to make a gift without the GiveMN fees? You can donate through the Campaign's site here.

You can help protect America’s most visited Wilderness. 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is America’s most visited Wilderness, consisting of 1.1 million acres of interconnected waterways, uninterrupted boreal forests, and diverse wildlife. The Boundary Waters attracts more than 155,000 visitors each year who come to paddle, hike, ski, snowshoe, hunt, and fish. 

Your donation to Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness will support the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, the group leading the effort to ensure permanent protection for the Boundary Waters, Minnesota's crown jewel, from proposed sulfide-ore copper mining. 

Your dollars will be DOUBLED when you give between today and November 18th!

Sulfide-ore copper mining threatens the Boundary Waters

Proposed sulfide-ore copper mines in the watershed of the Boundary Waters, near the southern edge of the Wilderness, would cause severe and permanent harm. Pollution from this type of mine is called acid mine drainage, and contains heavy metals, sulfates, and is highly acidic, like battery acid. This toxic runoff would flow into the heart of the Boundary Waters, and the mine site would destroy thousands of acres of land, massively disrupt wildlife, increase traffic, and create noise and air pollution. It would also hurt the existing sustainable amenity-based economy that brings in $913 million dollars annually to the surrounding communities. 

The downstream flow of acid mine drainage would also threaten Voyageurs National Park, the Superior National Forest, and Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. Sulfide-ore copper mining this close to the Wilderness would cause toxic contamination in the area for thousands of years to come.  

For nine years the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters has been laser-focused on leading, building, and mobilizing the coalition to protect the Boundary Waters from the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining.

The Boundary Waters is too special to put at risk.


We need your help. 2022 is our best chance yet to permanently protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining.

In October of 2021, the Biden administration proposed a 20-year ban on copper mining on federal public land around the Boundary Waters. This begins a two-year moratorium on mineral leasing and permitting and allows for a review of potential environmental impacts. The review could serve as a basis for a 20-year ban. To be clear - this is a game-changing victory, but we have not won yet. We will not stop fighting until the Boundary Waters Wilderness Watershed is permanently protected from toxic mining.

We need your help this year to ensure that Save the Boundary Waters can continue to push as hard as possible to permanently protect the one-of-a-kind Boundary Waters from the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining using all of our state and federal strategies. 

We have not won yet.

Here’s what comes next, and why we need your continued and immediate support: 

  • Comment periods - we need to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people from across the country to participate in the state and federal comment periods.
  • Push for state and federal legislation - in order to ensure permanent and lasting protection for the Wilderness, the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters is working with Boundary Waters Champions on the state and federal levels to pass permanent Boundary Waters protection laws. Both of these critical next steps require mass grassroots mobilization, scientific, legal, and policy expertise, and a lot of time and resources. We can’t do it without your financial support!

    Your dollars will be doubled up to $150,000 thanks to donors in our new Walter Mondale Legacy Fund, when you make a contribution between today and midnight on November 18.

Save the date - November 18 - and join us in person for a Give to the Max Day Celebration!

Join us on Thursday, November 18 from 6:00 -  9:00 pm at Broken Clock Brewing in Minneapolis. Enjoy BWCA themed trivia, a food truck from Bill Green’s BBQ Co. will be available, plus, $1 from every pint of the new limited edition beer “Straight from the Lake” will be donated back to the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters!

Or, join us online for virtual BWCA trivia at 7 pm CT on November 18 for an evening of BWCA fun facts and friendly competition!

Register for virtual trivia here

Organization Data


Organization name

Save the Boundary Waters

Tax id (EIN)





PO BOX 625
ELY, MN 55731



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