Coral reefs are one of the world’s most essential ecosystems, sheltering and sustaining about a quarter of all ocean species.
The reefs are formed over thousands of years, mainly by colonies of animals called polyps. These creatures make stony corals, the foundation for most coral reefs, by secreting protective limestone skeletons.
As these skeletons accumulate over time, with new colonies of polyps growing on top of the skeletons of older ones, they build up the base of coral reefs.
The Coral Reefs stamps feature highly stylized digital portraits that depict four types of stony corals and associated reef fish:
- Elkhorn coral and two French angelfish.
- Brain coral and a spotted moray eel.
- Staghorn coral and blue-striped grunts.
- Pillar coral and a coney grouper and neon gobies.
Ethel Kessler, a USPS art director, designed the stamps. Tyler Lang created the stamp art.
The word Postcard printed on the stamps indicates their usage value. Like a Forever stamp, these stamps will always be valid for the rate printed on them.