FLORIDA — An underwater mausoleum off Miami’s coast is giving all new meaning to being buried at – or in this case under – sea. The magnificent Neptune Memorial Reef, which was modeled after The Lost City of Atlantis, is an under-the-sea city for the dead and living.
The Neptune Memorial Reef is located 40 feet underwater at the coordinates N25° 42.036’, W80° 05.409’ and is the largest ever manmade reef, covering more than 16 acres of the ocean’s floor.
In addition to being an amazing underwater tribute to a remembrance of human life, the structures have also contributed to marine life. Local businesses, such as boat chartering, snorkeling and diving, have also benefitted from the mausoleum.
According to The Neptune Memorial Reef’s official website: “These structures have produced a marina habitat to promote coral and marine organism’s growth while creating the ultimate ‘Green Burial’ opportunity. A recent marine study conducted by the Department of Environmental Resource Management concluded that marine life around the Reef has gone from the zero to thousands in two years.”
The site offers recreational water enthusiasts a special opportunity, with some family members even becoming dive certified to visit.
“Many of our local families dive the Reef on a regular basis to visit their website,” the website reads. “One family, in particular, has been out five times in as many months.”
Before questioning the creep factor of this concept, Neptune Memorial Reef was created with environmental standards in mind and met specific guidelines approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic Atmosphere Association, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers among others. The Memorial Reef also holds membership of the Green Burial Council.
Visitors are welcome, whether family is buried there or not, and access is free. However, no fishing is allowed and the Reef staff asks visitors to be respectful to the resting, sea life and workers who arrive at the site.
View the website at nmreef.com to learn more.