The Domino Effect: The Importance of Ocean Preservation

Sophie Nguyen

First of all, what is the Domino Effect? Simply put, it is commonly referred to as the
chain reaction, where one event sets off a chain of similar events. While an average,
run-of-the-mill person could experience this in their lifetime, history has shown time and time
again that there can be consequences on a larger scale. There have been many historical
occurrences that have shaped how people perceive the world today, especially with the topics
ranging from global warming to the rising sea levels.

Global warming is essentially the increase of Earth’s average temperature due to the
greenhouse gases that collect in the atmosphere. Although “natural cycles and fluctuations” play
a role, the main source is human activities—specifically burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil,
gasoline, and natural gas, all of which contribute to the greenhouse effect. As a result, extreme
weather is inevitable, leading to heat waves, droughts, and heavy precipitation. One of the most
infamous storms, Hurricane Katrina, caused 80% of New Orleans to remain flooded “with
portions under 15 feet of water,” affecting nearly 15 million people to this day.

With a chain reaction of global warming to extreme weather to rising sea levels, there is a
concrete causation that impacts the ocean. While glaciers and ice sheets are melting at a fast
pace, the volume of the ocean is expanding as the water warms. The amount of atmospheric
carbon dioxide in the oceans has caused increased levels of acidity, rendering a harmful habitat
for marine life. Coastal flooding still remains an issue for Maryland citizens as well, given that
the rate is accelerating in many locations along the East and Gulf coasts. You’re probably
wondering, “That’s it, right?” Unfortunately, the Domino Effect longs to continue, since the

flooding threatens nearby infrastructure—roads, bridges, power plants—you name it. There is a
multitude of following events that solely derive from global warming, yet actions have not been
seriously taken to combat this issue. Therefore, our world is suffering due to the inexcusable
actions made by humans - one falling domino at a time.

At this point, it may seem as if these detrimental effects are irreversible as the clock is
ticking. However, the mentality that there’s a “deadline” to save the Earth is mistaken, and in
order to truly do your part, it’s best to start right now. The beginning of your advocacy journey is
to first reduce your carbon footprint by frequently riding a bike or planting a garden in your
community. On a political level, contact your representatives and lawmakers in your jurisdiction
to emphasize the importance of preserving the crises facing our oceans. They are willing to listen
on how to adopt environmental laws, like saving marine life from single-use plastics, for
example. Last but most certainly not least, spread awareness to your fellow citizens and educate
them on how they can play a role in dismantling the threatening Domino Effect that exacerbates
the oceans.

By addressing the root cause of the rising sea levels—global warming—there wouldn’t
have to be disastrous results. With that being said, it’s definitely not too late to start advocating
for the ocean preservation at all.