Memorial Reef Program Introduction

There is no better statement of who we are than what we leave behind. For many that enjoyed fishing, diving, boating or just a general love of the Gulf, a personalized Memorial Reef is the perfect and permanent tribute to celebrate and remember a loved one for hundreds of years to come. The Apalachicola Artificial Reef Association (AARA) offers Memorial Reefs that allow families to construct, personalize, and name a reef for their loved one(s). Each Memorial Reef creates a unique ecosystem and provides a permanent and sustainable environment for all marine life.

For families and individuals that choose cremation rather than burial, AARA Memorial Reefs offer a new memorial option that replaces cremation urns and ash scattering with a permanent environmental living legacy. Expected to last one hundred years, over 150 reefs have been placed off the coast of Apalachicola, Florida.

The Apalachicola Artificial Reef Association "Memorial Reef" is a scientifically designed reef made of Florida Limestone and environmentally safe cast concrete that is used to create new marine habitats for fish and other forms of sea life. The cremated remains of an individual are incorporated into an environmentally safe cement mixture designed to create artificial reef formations. The cement is poured into three separate forms, cured, and then welded and poured again to create the largest and strongest reefs available today. The Reefs are deployed in our legally permitted areas in the Apalachicola, Florida vicinity. The AARA dive team regularly monitors the condition of the reefs as well as the marine ecosystem.

We have three types of Memorial Reefs starting at $2,000. Our most popular Memorial Reef includes:
  • Handling of the cremated remains and incorporating into the Reef
  • Embed plaques provided by family/friends into the Reef
  • Final placement and dedication in the Gulf
  • A GPS survey to record the specific longitude and latitude of the Memorial Reef
  • AARA Memorial Reef Certificate displaying your Reefs GPS location.
  • AARA dive team monitors condition of reef in future years
  • Eligible as a tax deduction