Perhaps you’re a sailor or you like to fish. Maybe you feel most at home watching waves lap on the shore. In any case, you definitely may have your ashes scattered over water — burial at sea– with certain limitations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets the terms for burial in the ocean. They say that ashes should be distributed three or more miles from shore and the family or charter boat operator must file a permit afterwards. (In fact, uncremated human remains can also be buried in the ocean.) Veterans can arrangements through the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard.
Ashes are not a health hazard and Michigan doesn’t regulate ash disposal in inland lakes and rivers or the Great Lakes. No doubt many families have used their own boats or those of friends to quietly scatter cremains.
For those wanting more formal arrangements, Sullivan Funeral Directors engages Perpetual Waters Charter Service. The company, licensed by the Province of Ontario, works directly with funeral homes. They can arrange photography, flowers and music as well as GPS coordinates so family members can return to the site.