Burial at Sea Laws and Regulations You Need to Know


Saying goodbye to a loved one is a profoundly personal journey. But for those considering scattering ashes at sea in California, one must consider some crucial factors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides guidelines for burial at sea for a lawful and environmentally conscious scattering of cremated remains.

Navigating the waters of regulations is essential to ensure respectful and legal burial planning at sea.

  • Understanding the Regulations

    Scattering ashes at sea is legal, but it comes with regulations that demand careful attention. The EPA permits burial at sea only for human remains, whether they are cremated or not.

  • Preparation for Burial at Sea

    If you don’t use a casket, the EPA recommends that you wrap the body in a natural fiber shroud and consider adding additional weights. If you use a coffin, you must remove plastic materials. A metal casket is preferable for optimal decomposition.

  • Notifying the EPA

    You should notify the EPA within 30 days of a sea burial event. You must conduct all burials at sea under a Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) general permit.

  • Choosing the Disposal Location

    For a lawful and environmentally conscious scattering of cremated remains, those considering ash scattering in California must bury them in ocean waters at least 3 nautical miles away from land. This distance, along with the rapid and permanent sinking of the remains, is prescribed to safeguard marine ecosystems.

A burial at sea in Newport Beach, California, is a poignant and meaningful way to bid farewell to a loved one. Still, it would help if you approached it with a thorough understanding of the regulations.

Following guidelines, Atlantis Society / Charter White Light can ensure a respectful and legal burial ceremony in California while paying homage to your loved ones and the environment.

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