Considering cremation but concerned about the carbon footprint? Memorial Reefs International offers a way to improve the oceans while giving those cremated remains a memorable permanent final resting place.
Learn more in this video recorded at the 2018 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) convention and expo with Steve Berkoff, Director at Memorial Reefs International. He talks about how their Reef Balls incorporate cremated remains and help the stressed ecosystems in the sea recover. Families can participate in creating the reef balls, attend memorial services as the reef balls are placed, and visit their loved ones’ final resting place by diving.
“We are hoping people will see these undersea memorials and see this as a logical alternative to simply scattering ashes when they choose to cremate their loved ones,” said Berkoff.
“Our product is environmentally-friendly, our Reef Balls are chemically balanced to the pH of the ocean, so they will not rot – they’ll last around 500 years. By choosing this process, you get to be part of new life and get to spend eternity creating new life under the ocean and creating a living legacy for the planet in helping to fight the loss of coral we’re all experiencing right now,” he explained.
Reef Balls are patented structures engineered to facilitate new coral growth, house an array of marine life, and withstand current and wave action. They texturize the concrete’s surface to give coral polyps an ideal landing pad for propagation. It allows for the natural growth of new corals and is supplemented by polyps harvested from coral nurseries.
The hollow shape also allows marine life to take shelter, which is essential for maintaining fish populations in coral colonies. Memorial Reefs International works with marine biologists and local scientists to study the progression of coral growth on their Reef Balls.
The client family will mix the cremated remains by hand with concrete in a bucket. The concrete is then shaped in a small mold called a pearl. Each pearl is set into a Reef Ball, which weighs about 500 pounds. The Reef Balls are placed in undersea gardens around the world.
Memorial Reefs International provides clients with the GPS coordinates for their loved ones’ final resting place. They can also provide boat access to go out to the site for a visit. They’ll also photograph and share the development of sea life on each Reef Ball.
Memorial Reefs International was at NFDA to team up with funeral homes as B2B partners. Funeral homes can extend this unique disposition option as an enhancement to the cremation services that they offer.
Learn more at www.MemorialReefs.International.