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scattering ashes at sea USA rules

American EPA rules for scattering on water

If you have lost a loved one and desire to scatter their ashes at sea, it is important to understand the EPA guidelines for this type of burial. Making sure you comply with these standards is in the best interest of you and those around you. Don’t let these guidelines discourage you when preparing to lay your loved one to rest. They are simple to understand you will easily be able to follow these standards.

Scattering Ashes at sea:

To safely scatter the ashes of a lost life, follow these simple EPA guidelines:

  • Cremation- the cremation process should be handled by an individual certified in funeral preparation. The remains of your loved one will be placed in an appropriate urn. The funeral home will be able to tell you whether or not your specific area requires a burial permit for the scattering of the ashes.
  • Location- the EPA requires that all sea burials take place at three nautical miles away from shore. It is pertinent that you proceed with caution when deciding the time and day that you will celebrate the life that has gone on before by scattering their ashes in the water. Be advised of weather conditions and use good judgement by postponing if necessary. Using a boat company that is specifically designed to handle this type of funeral services is recommended, as they will be confident in keeping with the EPA guidelines.
  • Flowers- leaving a trail of flowers or wreaths is acceptable as long as these adornments are made from easily decomposed materials. Fresh flowers and wreaths are recommended.
  • Notification- the EPA requires that they receive notification of all sea burials within 30 days of the scattering of ashes. The notification should be in written form and include pertinent information such as: the type of remains, date in which the remains were scattered, location of scattering, etc. A full list of details can be located on the EPA water regulation website.

Scattering the remains as a way of celebrating your lost loved one can bring you comfort and closure. Make sure that you take the time to follow the guidelines set aside by the EPA to ensure everyone’s safety.

A bit overly bureaucratic is you ask me but hay, it is not prohibited so I guess that is all okay.

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