Burial is always an option, or cremation, or composting, but what about becoming a reef ball?
A nonprofit in Florida has a unique, eco-friendly way to restore coral reefs while simultaneously providing an eternal resting place to those whose final wish is to use their remains to benefit marine habitats impacted by climate change.
Climate change has led to issues worldwide, including in oceans, where rising temperatures have resulted in the loss of coral.
According to a 2020 report, corals can be found in more than 100 countries. And while they cover only 0.2% of the ocean’s floor, they support at least 25% of marine life. However, rising ocean temperatures have led to the loss of 14% of global corals.
That’s where Florida-based Eternal Reefs comes in.
The company creates a reef ball with the cremated remains of a person (or pet) and drops them to the ocean floor to provide marine life with a new ecosystem.
Reef balls are round and hollow, and 80% of their weight is located in the lower quarter of the reef, making them stable underwater.
They’re made of a specialized concrete mixture that brings the pH content of the reef ball close to neutral. That, combined with the textured outer surface, allows microorganisms to land, burrow and mature.
Fish also migrate to the reef balls when they’re placed on the ocean floor, and depending on conditions in the water, reefs could start growing within a few weeks.
Over time, the reef balls mature and will continue developing to support marine life forever.