Families choose marine memorials for their loved ones (includes video story)

Larry Youngs, who had been battling a long illness, requested a unique final resting place; he wanted to become part of an artificial reef in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His wife, Betsey Youngs, chose Eternal Reefs, a Sarasota company that creates artificial reefs from cremated remains.

Betsey Youngs explained: “We wanted to do something that was environmentally friendly, something that would be different and something that would reflect him. And we found Eternal Reefs online and it fit perfectly because we love the ocean.”

George Frankel, CEO of Eternal Reefs, elaborated on the process and its benefits: “So each time somebody decides to do this, we get to add another reef to the artificial reef programs of one of the states that we’re working in. So far we’ve put out more than 3,000 memorials in seven states and… we’re continuing to grow and this is a very positive green memorial.” The ash is combined with environmentally safe cast concrete and offers a special, hands-on way for families to honor their loved ones.

Frankel explained that families mix their loved ones’ cremated remains into the reef, personalizing it with handprints and messages. This process creates a lasting tribute and helps conservation by providing new underwater habitats and supporting marine life. 

Jasmine Arocha is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital TV and Multimedia Production. She was born and raised in Miami and has a creative eye for producing and editing videos. In the future, she hopes to work behind the scenes for the news.