Forget the gloom and doom of crowded graveyards – you can now turn the ashes of your loved ones into a blossoming coral reef under the sea.

Set Free at Sea is a Gainesville, Georgia-based organization that builds bases for coral reefs out of cremated remains and eco-friendly materials.

The service supplies a host of benefits; by providing coral organisms with structures on which to build their reefs, Set Free at Sea is helping dozens of struggling ecosystems thrive amidst the changing underwater climate. Family members also feel more at peace with death knowing that their loved ones – whether they were a relative or a pet – are contributing to the circle of life in a helpful way.

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Coral reefs are created when free-swimming coral larvae attach to hard surfaces usually found around the coasts of islands or shorelines. The tiny organisms then form colonies that stretch into reef structures, which provides valuable shelter and habitats for other marine life, such as algae, sea grass, fish, sponges, anemones, eels, and crustaceans.

By combining an organic live-rock mixture with cremated remains, the ashes of the deceased are sculpted and cured into a structure that is then placed in different locations on the ocean floor, providing the basis for future reefs. Set Free at Sea even films the placing of the sculpture so families can see where their loved one is laid to rest.

The organization gives annual updates on the reefs development and progress so customers can see how the structure is helping to save its underwater ecosystem.

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The entire package provided by the service includes an engraved tabletop replica of the reef structure; a DVD of the reef’s placement; GPS coordinates of the reef’s location; framed certificates; and a flower arrangement that is lowered with the memorial.

The service will be shipping 30 cremated structures out to sea from Miami in June, and again in October. When spring of 2018 rolls around, the organization will be setting sail for 30 more services from Indonesia and the Philippines.

The founder of Set Free at Sea, Amber Hoagland, is no stranger to grief and struggle herself. In fact, she is quite familiar with it.

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“I started this business after leaving an abusive marriage with my four small children,” artistic director Amber Hoagland told Good News Network. “Homeless, I basically stopped making excuses and started making solutions. I got my degree and dove into my artistic passions and never stopped.”

The product of her innovation has resulted in dozens of successful alternative underwater burials. Not to mention that 10% of the business’s sales go towards nonprofit organizations dedicated to removing trash and waste from the oceans.

“Set Free At Sea’s top priority is to make everlasting memories for you and your loved one. Simply put; our goal is to promote life even after we pass.”

If you would like to learn more about booking your own underwater memorial, check out the Set Free at Sea website.

(WATCH the video below)


You Should Dolphinately Click To Share This Story With Your Friends (Photos by Set Free at Sea)

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