TAKOMA PARK, MD – Climate activists nationwide take the “polar bear plunge” on Saturday to call on Congress to immediately adopt President Joe Biden’s plan for 100% clean electricity by 2035. In this first-ever national plunge for climate action, participants dipped into rivers, ponds and backyard pools after a virtual rally led by Congressman Don McEachin (D-Va), author Bill McKibben, and the Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus.
The “Keep Winter Cold” national plunge was organized by Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). Even a pandemic could not stop participants from facing icy waters. Participants came together virtually and showcased videos and photos of themselves plunging from home — with everything from ice buckets and water guns to dips in local bodies of water and bath tubs. There was also a costume contest featuring Amazonian queens, Bernie in his mittens, a dragon, the James River, and a Viking.
This year’s plunge, which took place the day before Valentine’s Day, is also partly a celebration of the climate champions we elected in 2020. The Biden administration has made the climate crisis a top priority by taking immediate actions such as rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline. CCAN will continue pushing for ambitious climate solutions, including President Biden’s promise of 100% clean electricity by 2035, as well as other national and regional priorities.
“Today hundreds of people took the plunge into icy-cold water nationwide to highlight the need to save our warming planet,” said Mike Tidwell, director of CCAN. “From age seven to 75, these climate heroes are challenging Congress to also take the plunge, and join Joe Biden’s call for 100% clean electricity by 2035. It’s time. ”
Every winter for the past 15 years, hundreds of passionate climate activists from across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, would come together to run, walk, and skip into an icy body of water to raise funds for CCAN. Just like a charity fun run, plunge participants take pledges from their friends and family to support CCAN’s vital climate work.
The very first Polar Bear Plunge to “Keep Winter Cold” was held in December of 2005 and brought in just over a dozen participants, raising around $5,000. The humble beginnings of this event sowed an incredible foundation for what is now CCAN’s largest signature fundraising event.
This year’s Polar Bear Plunge was made possible with the support from our partners MOM’s Organic Market, Neighborhood Sun, and Amalgamated Bank.