If you’ve ever been snorkeling or scuba diving on a coral reef, you’ve experienced the majestic beauty of these magnificent underwater ecosystems. This aquatic world of dazzling colors, gently floating plants and brilliant fish is enough to take your breath away. It’s no wonder why so many people choose to become a permanent part of a coral reef after they pass away if they are cremated.
Known as a coral reef cremation memorial, this unique undersea final disposition option offered by Georgia Cremation is ideal for ocean lovers. After the cremation, the loved one’s cremains are placed in an environmentally friendly cremation reef, which helps restore underwater habitats.
Under the Sea
Sometimes called the “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs are held together by calcium carbonate structures produced by corals. These gorgeous reefs are teeming with life, including millions of species which live in and around the structures. Coral reefs are home to an astonishing variety of plants and creatures, including sea anemones, fish, lobsters, starfish, clams, seahorses, sea turtles and jellyfish.
Some of the world’s oldest reefs began forming more than 25 million years ago. Sadly, these delicate underwater habitats are constantly threatened by human activities. From the coral reefs in the Florida Keys to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the world’s coral reefs are in serious danger of being lost forever, thanks in large part to our carelessness.
Many reefs have already been destroyed or damaged by overfishing and other reckless fishing practices, water pollution and ship groundings. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help save our world’s coral reefs—and one way is through coral reef cremation memorials.
Giving Back to the Earth
In the late ‘80s, two University of Georgia roommates who enjoyed diving off the Florida Keys determined it was time to take action to save the increasingly damaged coral reefs. They invented patented mold systems known as “reef ball” created from an eco-friendly concrete formula. These balls feature special designs to make it easy for sea life to attach to the structures and grow. When placed in the ocean, the molds create reefs that closely mimic natural reef formations.
In 1998, the father-in-law of one of the “reef ball” co-creators decided he wanted his cremated remains incorporated into one of the structures. He wanted to be surrounded by underwater activity for all of eternity. Soon after, the company known as Eternal Reefs was born.
Today, Eternal Reefs and other coral reef memorial companies continue to grow in popularity. Instead of storing cremains in an urn or burying them in a cemetery, this memorial option is an incredible way to give back to the earth while becoming a part of a living, breathing underwater habitat. It’s the perfect option for environmentalists, fishermen, boating enthusiasts, kayakers, scuba divers, sailors and other lovers of the sea.
The nice thing about coral reef memorials is the fact that no two are same. There are countless ways to customize each memorial to reflect each unique life lived. For example, Eternal Reefs encourages family and friends to place handprints in the damp concrete during the casting, etch messages into the memorial and add small mementos, such as military medals, religious symbols. The family may also hand-pick from a variety of seashells to add to the memorial.
Whether your loved one was a scuba diving enthusiast or just an admirer of the deep blue sea, a cremation reef memorial might just be the perfect final tribute. Not only will they rest in peace in a truly tranquil and beautiful setting—but they will actually be giving back to the Earth by becoming part of our ocean’s endangered coral reefs.
For more information on coral reef memorials or our cremation services, please do not hesitate to call Georgia Cremation today!