A Guide to Ocean Cremation Scattering Ashes at Sea
With the rise in popularity in cremation in the US, more and more Americans are interested in scattering the ashes of their dear ones as a perfect send-off and honor their memory in the most meaningful way possible. For many, scattering ashes at sea can signify a release from earthly distresses, an arrival to nature, and celebrate the love that the person had for the ocean. If you are considering cremation scattering cruises, a bit of planning is involved in the process to proceed smoothly.
In the United States, the EPA is responsible for governing what you can release into territorial water, which ranges at least 12 nautical miles from the reference point or low water mark of the land. Seas up to 3 miles from low water spot usually delimited by specific states. However, state and local government don’t always regulate water bodies within the borders like ponds, lakes, or rivers. Knowing this is necessary as you do not want to engage in illegality while thinking you are giving or loved one the perfect send-off. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) permits the scattering of cremation ashes at sea beyond the 3-mile mark without a license, and of course, with some limits. You cannot release anything to the sea that doesn’t disintegrate quickly. For instance, you cannot put plastics or metal objects into the water.
Regardless of the location, you choose to scatter ashes at sea, guarantee that you are not using urns or items that don’t break down as that will pollute the water. So stick to cremation urns made of biodegradable materials as you are assured they will degenerate over time after exposure to water. If you are using metal or ceramic urns, ensure that you don’t throw the urn together with the ashes. Instead, scatter the ashes into the sea and bring the urn with you to the shore. If you are considering using floating lanterns or dispersing flowers on the water, it is lovely but ensure that there are not fragments made of any biodegradable materials. Such materials may be harmful to marine life.
The weather conditions are also another elemental aspect to look at before you choose ocean cremation scattering at sea. You probably have heard of numerous horror stories where the ashes blew back onto the guest after scattering ashes against the wind. At times, the sea can be rough or windy, and that wouldn’t be the best setting for scattering ashes at sea. So if you are hiring cremation scattering cruises, ensure the provider puts the weather into consideration. That ensures that you hold the ceremony when the sea is relatively calm. However, often, the sea is windy. So ensure that you spread the ashes in the direction the wind is blowing to and not where it is blowing from.
Additionally, be ready for the location when scattering the cremation ashes. If you are going for a cremation scattering cruise, make sure you are well dressed and ready for an unsteady trip. Cruiser decks can be glassy, and therefore, the guests should wear shoes with grip. If you get seasick, ensure that you have taken the right medication before the trip.