Here’s what to know about scattering ashes

Often, family members are requested to scatter the remains of their cremated loved ones in a location that is meaningful to the deceased. And while there are no specific national laws that surround the scattering of ashes, there are local and regional regulations that should be adhered to. This article will help you with what to know about scattering ashes.

It is allowable to spread ashes at sea, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, you must follow the regulations surrounding this process.  You must be more than 3 nautical miles from land when you scatter ashes.  They may be scattered either from a boat or by airplane. You must use a biodegradable urn if you wish to include the urn in the burial. A permit is not necessary, however, you must report the burial to the EPA within 30 days.

Scattering ashes in some rivers, lakes and ponds may be illegal in some states.  You should contact the local mortuary or state environmental boards for clarification on what is permissible.

National parks usually allow ashes to be scattered, but you must ask permission in advance. The park rangers will be able to tell you where the scattering of ashes is permissible.

You may also scatter ashes on private property, if you receive permission from the property owner.  Of course, if you are the property owner, this goes without saying.  However, if you are not the owner of the land, a simple title search will give you a place to start looking for the appropriate contact information.

Some cemeteries or crematoriums offer scattering gardens, where you may disperse the ashes of your loved one. There is typically a fee associated with this practice, so be sure to contact the director of services prior to any actions taken.

And this article wouldn’t be complete without addressing a fairly new type of service available to those who wish to scatter the ashes of their loved ones.  You may have heard of aerial scattering, which is the dispersal of ashes from above the earth in an airplane.  Newer services are also popping up, including drone scattering.  A search online will lead you to companies who specialize in such services if that is what you and your family are desiring.