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Public impeachment hearings in Washington; dreamers protest in Texas; roadless wilderness areas possibly at risk around the country; and an ozone indicating garden, at the North Carolina Governor's Mansion.

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Supreme Court hears DACA arguments, and likely will side with the Trump administration, but doesn't take up a gun manufacturer's appeal. Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford drops out of presidential race; and former President Jimmy Carter recovers from brain surgery.

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Mainers Jump in Frigid Waters to Fight Global Warming

This year's Polar Bear Dip and Dash promises to be the coldest yet. (Natural Resources Council of Maine)
This year's Polar Bear Dip and Dash promises to be the coldest yet. (Natural Resources Council of Maine)
December 29, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine – Intrepid runners will be ringing out the old year this Sunday by taking a dip in icy waters to raise money for the fight against climate change.

With temperatures expected to be right around zero-degrees Fahrenheit, it promises to be the coldest Polar Bear Dip yet. The annual event is held every December 31 to raise money to support the work of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the state's leading environmental advocacy organization.

According to Stacie Haines, the group's membership director, the 5K jog to the water's edge makes this event unique.

"A lot of runners come out for a fun-filled, sometimes slippery, sometimes snowy run around the Back Cove in Portland, and then we all meet at the beach at noon to jump into the ocean," she says.

So far, 140 Mainers have registered to participate in Sunday's Polar Bear Dip and Dash.

Haines says the funds raised will help the work they do with lawmakers and local communities to protect clean water and promote clean energy in the state.

"We're working to get proactive environmental bills passed and stop rollbacks to the environment," she explains. "We're working a lot right now on pushing solar energy in Maine."

They also work to protect wildlife and promote sustainability projects such as promoting alternatives to plastic bags.

Haines points out that being separate from the federal and state government allows independent organizations to concentrate on what's needed to protect, preserve and restore the environment.

"Organizations like ours are able to watchdog what's happening and take a non-biased approach at bringing light to these issues," she adds.

She says Sunday's event is already close to meeting its $25,000 fundraising goal.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - ME