Been to Paris, walked through the cemetery of Père Lachaise, and secretly wished a burial among the famous dead. But you know what? There’s something more exciting to that, yes! The Eternal Reefs. So far, several people worldwide have considered the Eternal Reef cremation to repay their debt to mother nature after they are gone.
Eternal Reefs: The Aha Moment
Okay, here it is: You can now rebuild dying reefs and add new habitats to the marine ecosystem after you are gone. That’s the concept of Eternal Reefs. It started in the late 1980s with two college roommates, Don Brawley and Todd Barber, at the University of Georgia when diving was the only boredom buster for the two. Soon they realized how the reefs were degrading over the years, and to recover that, they decided to protect the fragile underwater ecosystems from further damage.
Eternal Reefs: Concept Note
The vision of Don and Todd was to create a system identical to the natural marine environment that could aid coral and microorganism growth and development.
Over time, the two came up with the concept of a Reef Ball made of natural materials to construct a new habitat to populate the marine ecosystem. This would help restore the dying reefs. The reef balls needed to be designed in a way that they’d naturally attract marine life.
They also had to be stable enough to absorb and release energy in the marine environment without changing position or moving. They are several factors in the marine environment that pose a threat to stability. These include tides, currents, storms, and other forms of dynamic energy.
Eternal Reefs: Structure & Development
Reef balls were to be made in a way that imitated the natural substrata where reefs develop. The choice of material was difficult to make as they had to choose something that was not detrimental to the marine environment but strengthened it. The goal was to choose natural materials that attracted microorganisms to populate new reefs.
Concrete structures called reef balls were built using patented mold systems. These reef balls replicated natural reef structures. The design was adapted to make it viable for sea life to attach to it and propagate. The concrete used to design the reef balls was carefully formulated to maintain a neutral pH of the reef ball. Along with the textured outer, this neutral pH made for an ideal setup for microorganisms to attach to and grow before predators attacked them.
Eternal Reefs: The New Habitat
The Reef Ball Development group and the Reef Ball Foundation completed their first successful project in 1992 near Florida. That was just the beginning. Over the years, there have been over 5000 successful projects. The projects span across more than 70 countries and have introduced 750000 reef balls in the marine environment.
These reef balls have proven to be stable as well as conducive to habitat development. The efforts have now reached a level where they are preferred extensively for fisheries programs, habitat development projects, and coral restoration efforts worldwide.
Eternal Reefs: The Underwater Crematory to Enjoy the Passing World
Eternal Reefs are memorials in the form of reef balls. They are made when the cremains of a dead person is mixed with the reef ball concrete. These reeds are then placed on the ocean floor to form a natural memorial. On May 1, 1998, the remains of Don Brawley’s father-in-law formed the first Eternal Reef. It is now habitat in the ocean and bubbling with sea -life.
Over the years, many families considered the Eternal Reefs the ideal way to be remembered and propagate life even after death. While the reasons to choose eternal reefs as memorials are personal to families, it is recognized as a great way to pass on the legacy of the dead by benefiting the marine environment permanently.
Eternal Reefs works with a plethora of regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. It is a concept that offers the perfect solace to people such as military veterans, anglers, sailors, environment enthusiasts, etc., to be amidst life and to aid it even after they are gone.
An Enterprise for the Purpose of Afterlife
Where do you think you’d like to be after you are gone? The Père Lachaise has no more room left for even the richest of all, so no point in regretting that. Next, you may consider just lying peacefully in a cemetery, receiving flowers now and then, or stay bottled up in an urn to be passed down to generations. But you know, on researching and writing this article, the discovery of Eternal Reefs is asking us to consider the idea of experiencing the underwater once we have our exit cards! Fancy that?