“Dare’s Reef” to Become First Sea Turtle Memorial Reef in United States

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Today, Eternal Reefs Inc. announced its partnership with the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue to create the first Sea Turtle Memorial Reef in the United States. Named after brave Sea Turtle, Â?Dare,Â? who passed away March 10th, 2005, Eternal Reefs will combine Dare's cremated remains with environmentally safe concrete to form an artificial Memorial Reef Ball. DareÂ?s reef will be placed on the ocean floor in a permitted location off the coast of North Carolina.

Today, Eternal Reefs Inc. announced its partnership with the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue to create the first Sea Turtle Memorial Reef in the United States. Named after brave Sea Turtle, “Dare,” who passed away March 10th, 2005, Eternal Reefs will combine Dare's cremated remains with environmentally safe concrete to form an artificial Memorial Reef Ball. Dare’s reef will be placed on the ocean floor in a permitted location off the coast of North Carolina.

Headquartered in Topsail Beach, North Carolina, The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is one of the few sea turtle treatment facilities in the United States that accommodates injured loggerhead, green, and Kemp's ridley turtles from up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Most of the turtles have human-caused injuries ranging from cuts from boat propellers, entanglement in fishing gear, or poisoning from heavy metals, PCBs, or dioxins in their food and their environment.

Dare was a female Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, the most highly endangered of all the sea turtle species. Found in 1999 in Dare County, North Carolina, severely underweight for her young age of 1 ½ years old, Dare suffered injuries from boat strikes and ulcers. Just prior to impending release, Dare was evacuated from Topsail Island during Hurricane Floyd and spent 4 days floating in her tank in contaminated flood waters. When rescued, her tank was found 27 feet in the air in a tree. Dare was re-examined by vets and found to have physical and neurological problems, and there was some speculation that she may have suffered a lightening strike during the hurricane. In an effort to improve her attitude and depression, Dare was treated to a “Spa Day” once a week by the rescue, in addition to continuing treatment of her various medical issues. Following major surgery for a large encapsulated mass, Dare slipped into a coma and passed away March 10th, 2005.

“Our volunteer staff has chosen to memorialize Dare as a symbol of all the tens of thousands of sea turtles, and other marine animals, who die each year, many of them as a result of human irresponsibility, said Jean Beasley, Executive Director, Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue. “We hope that Dare’s reef ball, and the reef that will carry her name, will be a reminder of the value and beauty of our fellow species. We return Dare to her ocean home, to be part of it forever.”

Since 2001, Eternal Reefs Inc. has been providing permanent living legacies that memorialize the passing of a loved one. For families and individuals that choose cremation rather than burial, Eternal Reefs offers a new memorial option that replaces cremation urns and ash scattering with a permanent environmental living legacy.

“We’re proud to partner with The Karen Beasley Turtle Rescue to remember Dare and help save all endangered sea turtles, says Don Brawley, founder, Eternal Reefs Inc. "Through Dare’s Reef, turtle rescue organizations across the country as well as individuals can now provide a living legacy for these magical creatures as well as a contribution to our eco-system that will benefit future generations."

About Eternal Reefs Inc.

Eternal Reefs, Inc is an Atlanta-based company that provides creative environmentally enhancing means to memorialize the cremated remains of a loved one. The company incorporates cremated remains into a concrete mixture used to cast artificial reef formations. The artificial reefs are dedicated as permanent memorials while also bolstering natural coastal reef formations. Expected to last 500 years, over 300 memorial reefs have been placed off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. Contact Eternal Reefs Inc. at: http://www.eternalreefs.com.

About The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

Headquartered in Topsail Beach, North Carolina, The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is a 501c3 nonprofit sea turtle sanctuary, committed to the care and release of sick and injured sea turtles. Originally founded by Karen Beasley as the “Topsail Turtle Project,” Karen saw the need to preserve and protect the sea turtle nests, nesting females, and hatchlings on the 26 miles of coastline on Topsail Island. After Karen's untimely death, the torch was passed on to her mother, Jean Beasley, today the Executive Director of both the nesting program and the rehabilitation center. The dream of a rehabilitation center was realized through the tireless efforts of the Beasley family, the support of the project members and the generous donations of money, time and material from local residents, businesses and visitors. For more information about the Center visit http://www.seaturtlehospital.org.

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Amanda Leesburg
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