Coral Heroes

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By Dr. Carin Jantzen

Join us on an adventure to Towabonga – coral reef ecology for kids!

The new educational kids comic by awarded illustrator Bernhard Speh and SECORE International is published! Coral Heroes takes its readers on a lovingly drawn journey to the reefs of Towabonga, where they meet the mightiest builders on earth and get to know why corals need our help.

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SECORE International is a leading conservation organization for the restoration and protection of coral reefs. SECORE applies a multidisciplinary strategy combining research, active reef restoration, education, and outreach for the conservation of coral reefs. We have established a global network of scientists, public aquarium professionals and local authorities, partners and stakeholders. Together with our partners we carry out restoration research, develop and implement innovative strategies and techniques to allow future reef restoration at much larger scales than currently possible. Through the Global Coral Restoration Project we aim at restoring reef ecosystem functioning and services around the world.

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Equipping children and teenagers with knowledge about corals reefs and why they are threatened may be a premise to set the foundation for the next generation of decision makers, practitioners, conservationists and environmentally conscientious citizens. “We want to spread the word how precious coral reefs are, what a wonderful underwater world they thrive in and how fragile their status is these days,” says Dirk Petersen, founder and Executive Director of SECORE. “Giving coral reefs a future, the claim of our organization, includes reaching out to the young generation; the ones that will see if our joint efforts will eventually be successful.” The comic magazine Coral Heroes aims at educating kids on coral reef ecology, mainly addressing ages 8 to 12 years, while having fun! 

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Coral Heroes is a comic magazine with two stories and additional anecdotal facts about corals. In the first colorful story, readers join the coral kids Al, Samy, Jo and Bran, as well as the unique Doc Kraken, who's wisdom leads the main characters through a journey into coral reef ecology―telling what makes a coral reef and who actually builds it, why corals can sting and why they carry algae inside their bodies. In the second story, readers will join our heroes on a mystic night dive during the night of nights: the corals' rendezvous on which they release their future offspring. Why is it so important for them to start all together at the same time and why are scuba divers there too? Readers will learn why coral reefs need our help and how coral restoration may give them a helping hand.

The award winning illustrator, Bernhard Speh, who brilliantly brought Coral Heroes into life, explored coral reefs as a diver himself: “I am enthralled by the colorful and often bizarre inhabitants of the diverse coral community. They are alive with inspirations and stories, which we just have to marvel at. The more I get to know about this spectacular and also fragile underwater world, the more fascinated I am."

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Coral Heroes can be downloaded for free at, rubric education, and it is freely available for any institutional education purposes or just for fun; high-resolution print files can be provided on request. We invite all kinds of teachers, zoo and aquarium tutors, scoutmasters and others to use Coral Heroes along with the provided presentation about coral reef ecology and helpful background info to compile a lively lecture about coral reefs. Please enjoy!

So far, an English and a German version of the comic is provided, respectively. Both can be downloaded via the links below: 

English comic:
German comic:

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Ocean Geographic Explorer (OGX) is a diving adventure resource with a special focus on marine photography and ocean conservation. Our content is divided up into six primary categories: Travel, Sea Science,  Equipment, Photography &Video, Conservation, and Lifestyle. We endeavor be a portal for people with all levels of interest in the marine environment  to learn about and become part of a community of like-minded ocean lovers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of and experiences in our fascinating ocean world.

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