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Can I Have My Ashes Scattered At Sea?

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Do you often ponder over the end of life? Do you think about what will happen when you die?

This is a question that has evaded humanity since time immemorial. The answer, unfortunately, can only be known upon death.

However, you can decide what will happen with your body on your passing. If you are an ocean lover, then you can get your ashes scattered into the sea.

Although it is more complicated than traditional land burial, ash scattering at sea is not an issue if you follow the guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Acquaint Yourself With the Law

Each state in the USA has its laws on scattering. Therefore, it’s advisable to acquaint yourself with the laws of your state beforehand.

In most cases of scattering ashes into the water, federal law may take precedence over state law.

Therefore, you should check local and state laws as well as familiarize yourself with federal laws that may apply to ash scattering at sea.

Basic Ash Scattering Laws

Although each state in the USA has its own laws on scattering ashes, there are some guidelines that apply throughout the country.

In most states, ashes can be scattered into water on a private property with the permission of the owner. If it’s a public place, like a public waterway or the sea, you can scatter ashes without any issues.

However, you need to keep in mind that if you’re disbursing ashes along with the container, the urn must be biodegradable. If it’s not, the cremated remains must be removed from the container before being scattered. Plus, you need to notify the EPA within 30 days of scattering.

The Federal Water Act

For ash scattering at sea, the Federal Clean Water Act notes that cremated remains must always be scattered at least three nautical miles from land.

The act also governs scattering in inland water bodies, like rivers and lakes. For inland water body scattering, you are legally required to obtain a permit from the state agency that manages the waterway.

In Closing

Anyone in the USA can get their ashes scattered into the sea. It’s easy and feasible. However, some people may face issues while disbursing the ashes of their loved ones. They might live far away from the sea or don’t have the resources to plan a proper scattering ceremony.

In such cases, you can always opt for an ash scattering service. These are professionals who take care of the entire process and help you in bidding a final adieu to the deceased.

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