Catching Up On Periodicals

Finally, for those of us looking to to make the ultimate commitment to the sea and to coral reefs, Eternal Reefs, Inc. (404-966-7333) offers a special service for our final remains. In their words, “Eternal Reefs, Inc., was formed to provide an ecologically sound option for the dispersal of cremation remains. By integrating the remains into artificial reefs in various oceans and seas around the world, we seek to provide ’Permanent Living Memorials’ that are ecologically sound for our environment and cost-effective for the consumer.”

Wired News (June 19, 1999) reports that the Eternal Reefs concept is based on the work of the Reef Ball Development Group, an organization that has been making and placing artificial reefs since the '70s. The reefs are created from specially treated concrete and placed along the southern East Coast and in the Caribbean. They now offer, through Eternal Reefs, the option of placing cremated remains into the structures.

The concept originated with the request of Eternal Reefs president Don Brawley’s father-in-law to have his ashes placed in an artificial reef that would become a home to groupers and snappers. Brawley honored the request by mixing his ashes into the concrete of a new reef sunk off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, where it is indeed surrounded by schools of fish.

The new memorial reefs, complete with bronze plaques, quickly become a home for sponges, hard and soft corals and other organisms. According to Wired News, “Once remains are cremated, customers pay less than $1000 to $3,200 (U.S.), depending on the size of the reef. The most cost-effective option is the ’community reef,’ which holds the remains of 100 people collectively.” The latter alternative would make an interesting project for some of our larger marine clubs and societies.




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