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Saturday Feb. 10: University of Maryland President to Join Largest-Ever Polar Bear Plunge for the Climate Into Potomac River at National Harbor

UMD President
Darryll J. Pines

National Harbor, MD — University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines will join a record crowd of polar bear plungers on the Potomac River this Saturday to draw attention to climate change. Last year was the hottest year on record by a wide margin! And now climate activists are stepping up their efforts like never before. This Saturday, February 10, Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) will hold its 19th Annual Polar Bear Plunge dedicated to raising awareness and funds to fight climate change. This year’s event at National Harbor, MD, is expected to bring together more than 300 hardy activists and volunteers, making this CCAN’s biggest plunge to date! 

At Saturday’s event, Pines will join climate activists from across the District, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) region in spotlighting the need for climate action. For over 20 years, CCAN has been building a people-powered climate movement and driving transformation to a clean energy future. Just two weeks ago, the Biden administration responded to pressure from CCAN and other climate organizations nationwide by announcing a pause on pending approvals of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports. That federal effort is just one of many CCAN campaigns planned for 2024 across the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region and beyond. The annual Polar Bear Plunge provides funding that is essential to those campaigns – raising more than one-third of individual donations made to CCAN each year. This year’s Plunge goal is $210,000. 

For more information about the 2024 CCAN Polar Bear Plunge, see below:

WHAT: 19th Annual “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge. For more information, visit

WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 10 AM EST

      • 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 featuring our guest speakers and costume contest.

                                                                                       *GREAT PHOTO OP*

        • 11:40 – 11:50 AM: March to the Plunge point and get ready to Plunge.

        • 11:50 AM – 12:10 PM: PLUNGE TIME! 

                                                                                          *GREAT PHOTO OP*

          • 12:15 – 2:30 PM: Celebrate at the Capital Canopy with fellow plungers! We’ll have pizza, a hot cocoa bar, and a FREE beer from Denizens Brewery (for Plungers age 21 and over), plus games and music!

        WHERE: National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland. 

            • Staging area: National Harbor’s Capital Canopy (on the Pier, near the giant Ferris wheel). 


              • Darryll J. Pines, President, University of Maryland

              • Andreana Lim, Youth Member of the CCAN NoVa New Leafs

              • Andres Jimenez and his daughter Emma; CCAN Board Member, Executive Director of Green 2.0; Fairfax Co. Board of Supervisors

              • Quentin Scott, CCAN Federal Director


            •  Green 2.0 

            •  US Wind

            •  Neighborhood Sun 

            •  International Brotherhood of  Electrical Workers (IBEW) 

            •  MAREC Action 

            •  Evergreen Action 

            •  Rewiring America 

            •  EDF Renewables

            Speakers will be available after the rally for interviews. If you would like to coordinate an interview, please contact: KC Chartrand,, 240-620-7144; or, Ariel Cassell,, 710-718-6760. 


            Chesapeake Climate Action Network, is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with climate change in the Chesapeake Bay region. For more than 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and beyond.