The lighter side of death: Your cremains can rebuild ocean habitat


The burial customs of Americans seem to be evolving away from morose, crepe-draped burials to more fun-filled, meaningful alternatives. The latest in our ongoing series The Lighter Side of Death features a new concept in eternal resting places from Eternal Reefs.

Eternal Reefs offers to incorporate the ashes of your loved ones into cast cement reef balls, which are sunk into the ocean to form the anchors for new or rejuvenating reef growth. During the casting, loved ones may put their hand prints on the ball, or write their farewells. A bronze memorial plaque labels each ball, and the deceased's family receives certificates acknowledging the affair and exact GPS coordinates of their loved one. The price also includes the substantial cost of placing the ball in the ocean.

The service doesn't come cheap, however. Adding one's remains to the Sea Oats Community Reef, a sort of potter's field for the reef-entombed, costs $2,495, while the top-end Mariner Memorial Reef, a 4' x 6' casting, perfect for couples or families of four, runs $6,495.

While pricey, I like the idea of contributing to rebuilding of our ocean's reefs. If I have to spend eternity somewhere, an ocean reef seems like a pleasant place to hang out.

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