Eternal Reefs is Using Ashes for New Sea Life

Eternal Reefs - artificial reefs and sea burials


Eternal Reefs offers people an eco-friendly option that combines a sea burial with helping the world’s oceans.

Today, many people consider a range of burial options that are less traditional than grave sites. For people who consider cremation, there continue to be many options such as scattering ashes. However, as green funerals gain popularity, people are looking for ways to help the environment after they die, and the company Eternal Reefs, has created a way use people’s ashes to create artificial coral reefs.

Oceans have faced many challenges in recent years. Reefs that used to be teeming with sea life are now struggling to survive. Using natural materials, two creative friends found a way to mimic the delicate ecosystem of a reef, replenishing ocean habitats with artificial reefs.

Their patented a “reef ball,” which consists of a pH-balanced concrete material that remains stable despite currents, has a texture that sea life find attractive. Varying in size, the reef balls look like a rounded geo-dome with holes. When a founder’s father-in-law stated he wanted to “live on” while helping the ocean, and requested that his cremated remains be placed in one of the reefs, Eternal Reefs changed.

Rather than spreading ashes at sea, Eternal Reefs found a way to turn a reef balls into a green burial. Like a match made in Heaven, a person’s cremated remains are placed into a reef ball, helping sea life have a place to live. A person’s ashes give new life, and in return, loved ones have a unique, meaningful way to say goodbye. The family knows that the loved one is making a difference by contributing to the artificial reefs.

With over 700,000 reef balls now placed, the Eternal Reefs program is a success that has led to a new standard in reef revitalization and artificial reefs, and a growing standard in green burials as well.

Eternal Reefs - reef balls for artificial reefs


A collection of reef balls waiting for their dedication.
(“Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Reef Balls

by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, LSU)

Families may be involved, if they desire, in a green funeral ceremony that includes casting the reef ball. For years, people have been spreading ashes at sea, but Eternal Reefs mixes the loved one’s ashes with the concrete and places in a cast. Families can impress handprints or other commemorative items, such as seashells, into the molded mixture. On the fourth day after molding, the family accompanies the crew onto a boat and the reef ball is lowered into the water, along with a green burial ceremony of spoken words, flowers, and any other special memorials.

Working mainly in the southeast United States, Eternal Reefs continually dedicates their reef balls in locations around Florida, including Sarasota, Miami, and Pensacola, and off the shores of Galveston, Texas; Ocean City, Maryland; Ocean City, New Jersey; and Topsail, North Carolina.They post their schedule for each city online. Costs for the Eternal Reefs sea burial options vary depending on the size of the reef ball that you want.

Eternal Reefs encourages couples to leave a will stating that they want their ashes mixed together, or suggests that a person may want to include the ashes of their beloved pet along with their own, when considering burial options. An artificial reef created from a human’s ashes combined with their best animal friend is a comforting option when considering what to do with a pet’s remains.

Families considering different options for green burials, and people who may have thought about sea burials, may not have heard of Eternal Reefs, but it is a win-win option. Even more eco-friendly than scattering ashes at sea, the artificial reefs from Eternal Reefs make a difference while making a unique memorial to a loved one. We think it is definitely an option worth considering.

At Everlasting Footprint, we encourage everyone to explore their options to leave the legacy they want. Share your stories and go down in history. Leave your Everlasting Footprint.


About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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