Releasing Ashes: What You Need to Know

By: Powers Funeral Home
Monday, September 26, 2022

Cremation services in Camden, SC. are rising in popularity each year. While once they were not chosen very often, now they are just as popular as ground burials. One reason many families as well as individuals are turning to this option is they are drawn to the idea of having their remains released back to the earth. This could take place in a special park they loved or even in the ocean. If you are considering spreading your loved one’s ashes in back into nature, here are some things you need to know.  

Sending Ashes Out to Sea

If your loved one adored the ocean or the beach, there may be no better place to release their ashes than in the sea. Many families are choosing to do this, and in fact, there are several companies that even specialize in this with having boat rentals and performing ceremonies on the boat prior to the releasing. Once nice thing about this option is that the company will ensure all rules and regulations are being properly followed when it comes to the releasing the remains. 

If you would like to do this on your own, however, you can. You will just need to be aware of the following rules: 

  • You must notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within thirty days of the releasing 
  • The releasing must be done at least three nautical miles away from any land 
  • If placing the ashes in an urn in the water, the urn must be biodegradable dissolve quickly and completely  
  • If you are adding any flowers into the water, they, too, must dissolve quickly and completely and not pose any hazard to any sea life 

Releasing Ashes at a State or National Park

Was your loved one an avid hiker? Did they love camping or spending time in nature? If so then spreading their ashes at one of their favorite parks or hiking spots could be perfect. Luckily, most all state and national parks allow for the releasing of remains.  

With that being said, there are some things to be aware of. First, while state and national parks allow for this, most state and national forests do not. Also, there are specific rules that you will need to follow and these rules may differ from park to park so always call the specific park and inquire about any rules you need to adhere to.  

As a general guide, most parks allow releasing as long as you follow these rules: 

  • No marker or headstone of any kind is allowed to be left at the site 
  • The remains must be scattered away from developed areas such as trails or campgrounds 
  • Remains are not allowed to be buried 
  • You may be required to have a permit prior to the releasing 
  • Some parks have a limit of the number of people who can attend the releasing 

Public vs. Private Land

A quick note about public and private land. While releasing ashes on most public land is permitted with certain rules, you must never release ashes on private land without the constant of the land owner. If you ask and the land owner says no, you could face fines and jail time for trespassing if caught on their land.   

Luckily, there are many places that allow releasing of ashes after your loved one’s cremation services in Camden, SC., so you and your family will have plenty of beautiful options. 

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