FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Memorial Reef™, an underwater reef and mausoleum, located approximately three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne, Fla., has completed the next phase of its planned expansion, adding space for an additional 4,000 memorials. Currently, the Reef serves as a home to thousands of fish, coral and invertebrates and provides cremation placements for 1,500 individuals. Once all phases of the planned design are complete, the site, which is inspired by the Lost City of Atlantis, will memorialize more than 250,000 individuals, with a master plan covering 16 acres of the ocean floor.
Neptune Memorial Reef serves as a unique resting place and permanent memorial for those with a love for the ocean or with an interest in green burial. Permitted and certified structurally sound by the Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Environmental Resources Management, the site also attracts travelers and adventure-seekers from all over the world and is one of the most popular diving destinations in the United States.
"For years now, Neptune Memorial Reef has served as a unique destination for many, as an underwater memorial for loved ones, world-class dive site, and marine ecology sanctuary," said Melissa Pitalo, Market Director in South Florida for SCI, North America's largest provider of funeral, cemetery and cremation services and owner of Neptune Memorial Reef. "With the completed expansion, we look forward to being able to serve more families, loved ones, and individuals seeking green burial and cremation options that provide a personalized experience and an extraordinary tribute to life."
"The Neptune Memorial Reef serves as an eternal resting place for those who have a true love and appreciation for the ocean," said Jim Hutslar, Operations Director of Neptune Memorial Reef, who has completed over 3,000 dives during his 14 years serving the reef. "Alongside the families and loved ones, I've witnessed the extraordinary transformation of the Reef over the years, and watched the growth and success of its marine ecology attracting more marine species than ever anticipated."
The Reef was designed and built by renowned sculpture artist, Kim Brandell, who has created works of art for a range of five-star hotels, casinos, restaurants and high-end residences. Memorialization placements in the Reef are created by carefully blending cremated remains with a natural concrete substance, which is then molded and secured within the Reef's architectural elements, complete with an engraved memorial plaque.
About Neptune Memorial Reef™
Neptune Memorial Reef™, an underwater reef and mausoleum, is located approximately 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne, Florida and 40 feet below sea level. Inspired by the Lost City of Atlantis, the Reef also serves as a cremation memorial site. In 2018, the Reef will undergo the next phase of its planned expansion, and will eventually provide cremation placements for more than 250,000 individuals. The Neptune Memorial Reef was created in 2007 with a non-polluting process that perpetuates the active growth of marine life. Memorialization in the Reef is achieved by carefully blending cremated remains with a natural concrete substance, which is then molded and secured within the various artistic structures, complete with an engraved memorial plaque. The Neptune Memorial Reef meets the strict guidelines and permitting of the EPA, DERM, NOAA, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Reef is also a member of the Green Burial Council. For more information about the Neptune Memorial Reef, please visit www.nmreef.com.
About Service Corporation International
Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI), headquartered in Houston, Texas, is North America's leading provider of death care products and services. As of June 30, 2018, SCI owned and operated 1,486 funeral homes and 480 cemeteries (of which 285 are combination locations) in 44 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Through its businesses, SCI markets the Dignity Memorial® brand, which offers assurance of quality, value, caring service, and exceptional customer satisfaction. For more information about Service Corporation International, please visit www.sci-corp.com. For more information about Dignity Memorial®, please visit www.dignitymemorial.com. As used herein, "SCI" or the "Company" refers to Service Corporation International and all of its affiliated companies.
Jay Andrew, 713-525-5235
Director, Corporate Communications
SCI Shared Resources, LLC