Can I Scatter Cremated Remains Over Water?

By: David Tindall
Monday, March 20, 2023

To scatter cremated remains over water is a popular way to pay tribute to a loved one who had a close relationship with the ocean or any other body of water.

Can I Scatter Cremated Remains Over Water?

At Tindall Funeral Home, we have seen that many families choose to scatter their loved one's ashes over these waters, but is it legal to do so in New York? The answer is yes, but with certain restrictions. In NY, scattering cremated remains over water is allowed as long as:

  • The remains are dispersed at least three nautical miles from shore. This requirement ensures that the remains do not wash up on the shore, which can be upsetting to beachgoers.
  • Another requirement is that the container used to transport the remains to the scattering site must be biodegradable. This is to ensure that the container will not pose any harm to marine life or the environment. Common biodegradable containers include those made from paper, cardboard, or natural materials like bamboo or salt.
  • It's important to note that New York does not require a permit for scattering cremated remains over water. However, if you plan to hold a formal ceremony on a boat, you may need to obtain a permit from the local authorities.
  • When you scatter remains over water, you must consider the weather conditions. It's best to choose a day when the water is calm and the wind is not too strong. This will make it easier to disperse the ashes evenly over the water.
  • You may also want to consider the time of day and the location of the sun, as the reflection of the sun on the water can make it difficult to see where the ashes are scattered.
  • Understand the emotional impact of scattering cremated remains over water. It can be a beautiful and meaningful way to say goodbye to a loved one, but it can also be emotional and overwhelming. Many families choose to have a small ceremony or moment of silence before scattering the ashes to honor their loved one's memory.

Other Things To Consider When You Scatter Cremated Remains

While no permit is required to scatter cremated remains, you may need to obtain one if you plan to hold a formal ceremony on a boat. It's important to consider the weather conditions and the emotional impact of scattering cremated remains over water.

Our funeral director can help you with any additional information regarding where you can scatter cremated remains over water as well as our other services. Contact us at Tindall Funeral Home or call (315) 468-5521.

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