New Deathcare Trend: Green Burial at Sea in Artificial Reef Balls

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Plot space is running out across America. Families are moving, couples are divorcing and no one visits their local cemetery to check on their final resting place. What are the burial options for the next generation? For families and individuals that choose alternative burial, a new memorial option is gaining popularity - reef burial.

Plot space is running out across America. Families are moving, couples are divorcing and no one visits their local cemetery to check on their final resting place. What are the burial options for the next generation? Cremation is growing dramatically 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. Given these cremation statistics, alternative burial trends are on the rise, including eco-friendly or "green burial," urging many Americans to think about leaving a permanent eco-living legacy. For families and individuals that choose alternative burial, a new memorial option is gaining popularity - reef burial.

Over the past seven years, Atlanta-based Company Eternal Reefs has offered underwater burial at sea in an artificial reef called a "Memorial Reef." Eternal Reefs is the only company in the United States to combine an individual's cremated remains with eco-friendly cast concrete to form a designed reef called a reef ball. Weighing anywhere from 400 - 4,000 pounds, each Memorial Reef placed on the ocean floor creates a new marine habitat for fish and other forms of sea life, allowing a new ecosystem to develop. Memorial reefs have also been a solution for the "shelf people" crisis across the country. An astonishing 45 percent of families that have chosen cremation still have their loved ones remains sitting on a shelf or in a closet. Thousands of individuals pass away unexpectedly and don't leave a will, leaving the next generation to handle their remains. Eternal Reefs offers a final resting place for those individuals.

With every Memorial Reef, the executor of the estate receives two memorial certificates that identify the longitude and latitude of the memorials, which are marked with bronze plaques. Loved ones can participate in every step of the Memorial Reef process and gather for the reef casting, viewing and placement ceremonies. Throughout the year, families and friends often return to the memorial reef site to dive, fish or even visit by glass bottom boat.

"You're seeing a change culturally. Rather than passing down an urn to future generations or taking up space in a cemetery, this memorial is a true living legacy, says Don Brawley, founder, Eternal Reefs Inc. "Our families find comfort in knowing their loved one has a final resting place and a meaningful environmental tribute to life."

2008 Eternal Reefs locations include:

Fort Myers, Florida - February 5, 2008
Sarasota, Florida - February 8, 2008
Miami, Florida - February 11, 2008
Ocean City, New Jersey - May 16, 2008
Ocean City, Maryland - May 19, 2008
Sarasota, Florida - July 15, 2008
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - July 18, 2008
Charleston, South Carolina - October 10, 2008
Chesapeake Bay - October 13, 2008

For more information about Eternal Reefs visit: http://www.eternalreefs.com

About Eternal Reefs Inc.
Eternal Reefs, Inc is the first company in the United States to offer green burial at sea in an artificial reef ball to memorialize the cremated remains of a loved one. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company incorporates cremated remains with environmentally safe concrete to form an artificial reef formation called a Memorial Reef. The artificial reefs are dedicated as permanent memorials while also bolstering natural coastal reef formations. Over 1,000 Memorial Reefs, have been placed off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. For more information, visit: http://www.eternalreefs.com

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AMANDA LEESBURG

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