With natural reefs dying off at an alarming rate, what can we do to actually make a difference and help protect and restore the fragile marine ecosystems?
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People are dumping all kinds of waste into the oceans, even the coast guard ships, in order to attract fish and act as an artificial new coral. But according to environmental group The Ocean Conservancy, “There’s little evidence that artificial reefs have a net benefit,” citing concerns such as toxicity from paint, plastics parts, etc., damage to ecosystems and concentrating fish into one place (worsening overfishing).
A green burial reef ball is creating a new marine habitat for fish and other marine life. People seeking “green burial” options can choose to be laid to rest in artificial reefs, where their remains will become a habitat for sea creatures. Those who opt for interment in an artificial reef are first cremated. Then their ashes are mixed with concrete and molded into a reef ball—a hollow, holey structure that’s up to six feet wide and five feet tall. It sits on the seafloor, ideally creating marine habitat and preventing erosion.
This green burial option helps to protect and restore these fragile marine ecosystems. By creating a material and system that replicates the natural marine environment, it supports coral and microorganism development, which directly rehabilitates and rebuilds the dying reefs and in turn, adds new habitat back to the marine environment.