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 accept donations 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 to more than 300 plungers who raise close to $200,000 in support of CCAN's climate campaigns. The humble beginnings of this event sowed an incredible foundation for what is now CCAN's largest grassroots fundraising event.


Due to the success of our past three plunges, we're continuing to offer the option for Plungers to participate BRRRR-tually. Plungers have the option to join us at the National Harbor, just outside of Washington, DC or Plunge BRRRR-tually from anywhere in the world.

**Every person who is planning to Plunge must sign-up online and complete our waiver during the sign-up process. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian must sign the waiver and email it to [email protected] or bring it to the Plunge event.



All Plungers are invited to join us for a morning of fun on February 10, 2024 to Plunge in-person at the National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac River, just across from our nation's capitol. The inclement weather date for this year's plunge is February 17, 2024. We encourage all Plungers to sign-up by 2:00 PM on Friday, February 9th. If you sign-up after this time or register day-of, you will be asked to make a $25 registration donation.  Find more details below and REGISTER HERE.


For Plungers unable to join us at the National Harbor, you can 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. 


More important than any perk, our Plungers know that their efforts help to fund critical efforts to stop fossil fuel development and promote clean energy policies.

Every plunger is invited to attend our Pre-Plunge rally at National Harbor and our Post-Plunge Celebration! Before plunging at the National Harbor, we'll have warm beverages, snacks, action tables, games, and a mini-rally. After plunging we'll all come back together to continue the fun with pizza and a beer on CCAN (Plungers age 21+).

Plungers who raise $350 by February 10th will be receive the 2024 plunge t-shirt!  

Plunge Day 2024

National Harbor Plunge Agenda:

10:00 - 11:00 AM: Arrive and check-in at the Capital Canopy! We'll have action tables, music, games, face painting, warm drinks and yummy snacks.
11:00 - 11:40 AM: Pre-Plunge rally and costume contest. Sign up for the costume contest here.
11:40 - 11:50 AM: March to the Plunge point and get ready to Plunge.
11:50 AM - 12:10 PM: PLUNGE TIME! After Plunging you can change into warm clothes in our changing tents.
12:15 - 2:30 PM: Head back to the Capital Canopy for continued fun and celebration with your fellow plungers! We'll have pizza, a hot cocoa bar, a FREE beer from Denizens brewery (Plungers age 21 and over), games, and music!

What to Bring: Be sure to bring closed-toe water shoes, your plunge outfit, towel, a change of warm clothes (and something to put your wet ones in), climate action signage, and your personal cheer section! 

Getting to National Harbor:
- Parking: You can park at any of the public parking lots at National Harbor. 
           - Mariner Garage: 164 Mariner Passage, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
           - Carousel Lot: 137 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
- Public Transit: Bus on the WMATA NH1 Line or WMATA NH2 LinePlan your ride here.

 Costume Contest:

One of the most fun aspects of the Plunge is the quirky outfits plungers show up in. The costume contest will take place at the National Harbor Plunge on February 10th during the pre-plunge rally. Due to the number of plungers who come in costume, we ask all interested participants to please fill out this form ahead of time.


BRRRR-tual Plunge

We'll be streaming from Facebook Live from the National Harbor plunge. Be sure to tune-in. After you take your plunge, share your videos and photos with our team by emailing them to [email protected].