Burial Reefs – improving the environment
Your remains can be embedded in an artificial reef, bathing somewhere off Florida or Malaysia or Brazil. It’s an ultimate gesture to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the sea.
Small but growing companies offer an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial practices by mixing cremated remains – cremains — into concrete and molding them into “reefballs.” The final product — resembling a giant dome of Swiss cheese — is then cured and donated to government reef projects wherever needed.
You’re not merely disposing of someone’s remains.You’re using them to create.
Many people say they’d rather spend eternity in the ocean surrounded by life than in a field surrounded by dead people.
Started in the early 1990s, the Reef Ball Development Group was formed to build the molds for the concrete reefs. What began as an all-volunteer effort evolved into a non-profit business.
The organization has deployed about 500,000 balls in 3,500 locations around the world. Compared with traditional funerasl and burial memorial reefs are still a bargain.
The concrete domes begin to attract tiny aquatic plants and animals almost immediately. Within a couple of years — with coral and sponges and fish in the neighborhood — it’s tough to tell the difference between the fake reef and the real deal. Which is the whole point. In just the past few decades, scientists estimate, 27 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed, mostly because of water pollution. If trends continue, 60 percent may be lost by 2030. At stake is not only a strikingly beautiful ecosystem but an essential link in the food chain.