Every winter for the past 18 years, hundreds of passionate climate activists have run, walked, and skipped into icy cold waters for a winter swim to raise funds in support of the work of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). Just like a charity fun run, Plunge participants take pledges from their friends and family to support our 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. Since then, the event has grown more successful every year and we consistently smash our fundraising goals. Last year's Plunge was our most successful yet, raising over $216,000 with Plungers participating across the country virtually and at our in-person Plunge on banks of the Potomac River. The humble beginnings of this event sowed an incredible foundation for what is now CCAN's largest signature fundraising event. 


Due to the success of our past two plunges, we've continued to host a hybrid Plunge event. Plungers had the option to join us at the National Harbor in Maryland or Plunge BRRRR-tually from anywhere in the world.


All Plungers were invited to join us for a morning of fun on February 11, 2023 to Plunge in-person at the National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac River, just across from our nation's capitol. 


For Plungers unable to join us at the National Harbor, they could take the Plunge BRRRR-tually! Some ideas for those plunging BRRRR-tually are: jump into an icy cold bath or kiddie pool, dump a bucket of ice water over yourself, or even go to a nearby body of water like a local creek or pond. The most important thing is that you and icy water come together for a brief moment. Need inspiration? Check out these creative plunges.


The first steps before signing up to take the Plunge are to determine if you'll be plunging at National Harbor or BRRRR-tually, and if you'll be plunging with a team. You can create a team of your friends, family, coworkers, teammates, the possibilities are endless. View our Teams page for more information on creating or joining a team.

The next step is to set your fundraising goal. We hope you'll set an ambitious goal, many plungers strive to raise $1,000. But, the main thing is that you simply participate and do the best you can in raising funds to support CCAN's work. Once your personal profile page is set up, you're able to share it with your friends and family as you ask them to support your Polar Plunge. 

Ready to get started? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Click here to register to #TakeThePlunge with us on February 11, 2023
2. Customize your personal Plunge fundraising page. You can watch tutorials on setting up your page here. 
3. Check out our newly revamped Plunger Toolbox to find all the tips you need to have a successful Plunge and raise funds