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Hundreds Participate in Polar Plunge

New Year's tradition raises funds for climate change organization

More than 200 people in Portland, Maine, are thawing out after a dip in the ocean New Year’s Eve. The ocean temperature was barely 40 degrees, but those taking part in the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Plunge at Portland’s East End Beach say they would jump at the chance to take part in it – in any weather.

“It’s fun, and it’s important,” said NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann.

The event raised about $25,000 for the NRCM, which Pohlmann said will help them address climate change issues at the local, state, and federal level. The NRCM supports efforts to make renewable energy more affordable for consumers, and the Clean Power Plan.

“It’s the hottest year on record,” said Pohlmann, “and if we keep heading in that direction, it’s going to be tough on our kids and grandkids. That’s why we need to be here today.”

This is the eighth year the NRCM has held the 5k and polar dip.

“It was cold – it was like an out of body experience,” said polar plunger Naomi Fein.

“It’s to raise money for the environment here in Maine,” said Andy Jones. “It’s a beautiful state, and we want to keep it that way.”

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