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Eternal Reef Offers Alternative to Cremation Urns

ATLANTA, Georgia, August 20, 2002 (ENS) - An Atlanta company offers an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burials - adding ashes to artificial reefs.

Eternal Reefs, Inc. incorporates cremated remains into a concrete mixture used to cast Reef Ball artificial reef formations. The artificial reefs are dedicated as permanent living memorials while bolstering natural coastal reef formations.

The company was created to provide an alternative to keeping a loved one's ashes. According to the company's website, "an Eternal Reef combines a cremation urn, ash scattering and a burial at sea into one meaningful permanent environmental tribute to life."

reef ball

One of Eternal Reefs memorial reef balls. (Photo courtesy Eternal Reefs)
"The entire consciousness of memorialization is changing," said Don Brawley, president of Eternal Reefs Inc. "People want to do the right thing with their loved ones' remains, and we offer the only environmentally positive burial option."

The company has created and added to designed reef sites in Sarasota and Marco Island, Florida, working with municipalities to use their permitted locations for deployments. Eternal Reefs Inc. inaugurated the first community reef in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina, partnering with McAlister-Smith funeral home. The Charleston launch was the first community reef in which 25 memorials with cremated remains were deployed at the same time.

On Monday, Eternal Reefs announced that Ft. Lauderdale, Florida will be the next U.S. reef site to include its memorial reef balls. The Ft. Lauderdale deployment is scheduled for October 1, 2002. Eternal Reefs will provide Broward County, Florida with 15 Reef Ball memorial reefs to help develop local reef ecosystems.

Cremation is growing in the United States, and by 2010, the procedure may be included in 40 percent of funerals, according to the Cremation Association of North America. About 45 percent of the families that have chosen cremation still have the remains at home sitting on a shelf or in a closet.

More information about Eternal Reefs Inc. is available at: http://www.eternalreefs.com/

More information about Reef Balls is available at: http://www.artificialreefs.org/

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