Scattering Ashes on Land and Sea: What You Need to Know

By: Powers Funeral Home
Monday, April 11, 2022

If you are planning to release your loved one’s ashes after their cremation services in Lugoff, SC., there are a few rues you should be aware of.  While most public places do allow for the releasing of the remains, each location may have specific rules and regulations that will need to be followed while doing so.  Although we will be listing the most common rules here, always check with local law enforcement to ensure no rules are being broken.

Releasing Ashes at a National Park

Most all United States National Parks allow for families to release ashes, while National Forests do not. Because of this, when selecting your location, make sure you are selecting a national park and not a forest.

Once you have selected the park you wish to use, it’s always a good idea to call them directly and double check about any rules. Also, many times parks may have temporary closures of certain areas or trails they may impact your ceremony and they can inform you of any of these when you call.

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

  • No marker or headstone of any kind can be left at the site
  • The ashes must be scattered away from developed areas such as campgrounds, buildings, and trails
  • Remains must be scattered and are not allowed to be buried

Some parks may require a permit prior to the releasing. You can typically obtain these from the park’s website.

If you would like to release your loved one’s remains at a state park, the rules are very similar. Just make sure to call the specific park ahead of time and check about regulations.

Releasing Remains at Sea

Some families may choose to release the remains at sea. This can be a beautiful tribute and luckily, is also allowed as long as you follow basic rules which include:

  • 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
  • The releasing must be done at least three nautical miles away from any land
  • You must notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within thirty days of the releasing

If you are interested in this idea, there are companies that can help you. They will handle the rules and permits and have boats you can rent for the release ceremony. An online search will yield you different companies to choose from.

Other Considerations

If you are ever unsure if a location permits releasing of ashes, always check with them directly beforehand. This is especially important when it comes to private property. You must have the permission of the landowner otherwise you can get fined and even be given jail time if you are caught trespassing.

If you need more information about cremation services in Lugoff, SC., or ideas to hold a scattering ceremony, give us a call or drop in anytime as we are always here to help.

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