Coral Reef Playing Cards Launched In Advance of International Year of the Reef (IYOR)


Horizon International today announced the launch of its Magic Porthole coral reef playing cards with photographic mirror-images of coral reef creatures.



Horizon International today announced the launch of its Magic Porthole coral reef playing cards with photographic mirror-images of coral reef creatures.  Prowling barracuda, shrimp and goby fish working together for survival, a frogfish dangling a lure to catch his prey, clown fish securing themselves in anemones, a cleaner shrimp cleaning the teeth of a Morey eel, and corals in their closed daytime posture and at night when their polyps full of water make their tentacles fan out to catch plankton are among the 52 unique pictures on both versions of the decks of cards now being released.

The card backs feature a design with five creatures of the reef, grouper, boxing crab, clownfish, emperor fish, and moray eel, artistically rendered by Sasha  Meret and chosen by coral reef experts with input about learning-type role models from Linda Jarvin, Associate Director, and her colleagues at PACE (Psychology of Ability, Competencies, and Expertise Center ) at Tufts U. (formerly at Yale).


These “First Collector’s Edition” cards feature photographs by Jan Post in mirrored designs by Sasha Meret along with joker photographs by Captain Tim Taylor.



  One version of the cards has all the same backs so they can be used to play favorite card games.











The other version has backs with information about the species so they can be used for memory games and flash cards. 










All the images match those of the “Magic Porthole™ Coral Reef Memory Game” on the Web at which also have video clips of  coral reef life. 


In addition to the card game the Magic Porthole Web site has resources from NOAA/National Ocean Science, coral reef exhibits, environment achievement contests, and features which are being continuously added with the help of collaborating institutions which include the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science, Boston, the Smithsonian Institution Ocean Hall and Ocean Portal, NOAA/NOS, and many others.  In the resources, one can learn for example, that coral reefs are home to an estimated 25 % of all marine species and that the impairment of the reefs causes fish, that are a part of people’s everyday diet, to be lost. 


With the playing cards and in other fun ways Magic Porthole™ engages children and adults while luring them into discoveries about the fascinating and fragile world of coral reefs and other ocean life. 


The Web site and playing cards are the first of many of the multimedia and multifaceted features Magic Porthole will offer. 






“As we discover the intricate interconnected life in coral reefs, we can better appreciate how many forms of life depend on each other for survival,” said Janine Selendy, Horizon International’s Chairman and President.






The cards, printed in the United States, can be purchased from the Web at Locations across the United States from aquaria and museums to pharmacies to department stores will be selling the cards within a week.  They include The Field Museum in Chicago, Florida Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Phoenix Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, South Carolina Aquarium Store, Butters Fine Food and Wine in Concord, NH, and Shine: An Aveda Salonspa in Ridgefield, CT.  Proceeds from the sale of cards will be used for Horizon’s Magic Porthole program to, as the card boxes say, “Help Save Coral Reefs.”


Magic Porthole is Horizon International’s multimedia informal science education program.  It is made possible by an award of a National Science Foundation Planning Grant, funding from many supporters for filming in Bonaire, individuals and foundations, and substantial contributions of talent and services.



 Many experts serve on the Magic Porthole Advisory Board including Walter H. Adey, Ph.D., Director, Marine Systems Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution; Gordon Cragg, Ph.D., former Chief, Natural Products Branch, National Cancer Institute; Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D., Oceanographer, former Chief Scientist of NOAA, explorer, author, and lecturer, Founder and Chairman of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research Inc., Explorer in Residence and Leader of the Sustainable seas Expeditons at the National Geographic Society; David Ellis, Ph.D., former Director, Boston Museum of Science; William Fenical, Ph.D., Director, Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; David Gelernter, Professor of Computer Science at Yale University; Carl-Gustaf Lundin, Head, IUCN Global Marine Programme; Peter R. Haje, former General Counsel and Executive Vice President Time-Warner; and Gus Speth, Dean, Yale Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Numerous young people serve as advisors.



Today’s launch comes in Advance of the International Year of the Reef 2008. The IYOR Web page describes the International Year of the Reef 2008 as a “a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and to motivate people to take action to protect them.”  It invites, “All individuals, corporations, schools, governments, and organizations are welcome and actively encouraged to participate in IYOR 2008.”  IYOR will be launched on 9th of December in Japan.


Note: The IYOR Web page is at



Janine M.H. Selendy, Chairman and President

Horizon International

Yale University

Dept.of Biology

P.O.Box 208103

New Haven, CT 06520-8103

Cell: 914-329-1323

 This is a Horizon International Article and Press Release.



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