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Where You Can and Can’t Scatter Cremated Remains

This quick rundown will give you a better idea of where you can and can’t scatter cremated remains.
Where You Can and Can’t Scatter Cremated Remains

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In the movies they make it seem like cremated remains can be spread just about anywhere. Real life is rarely like the movies. 

The reality is some places are completely open to scattering ceremonies while others are completely closed off. Most places land somewhere in between and a ceremony is possible as long as you meet certain requirements. 

Different States, Different Regulations for Spreading Remains

The state and county where you plan to spread the remains makes a difference. Families should keep in mind that the rules for spreading cremated remains varies by state. What is allowed in your home state may not be allowed where your loved one lived or where they want to have their remains scattered. 

That being said, there is a lot of grey area. Many states and local municipalities have very few laws on the books. 

Spreading Ashes Out at Sea

One of the most popular options for spreading cremated remains is doing it out on the open water. Part of the reason why is because it isn’t regulated like spreading cremated remains on land. As long as you’re at least three miles off short you can spread the remains wherever you want. You can even use a container for the remains if it’s biodegradable. 

Spreading Ashes at State and National Parks

Many people who opt for green cremation services are nature lovers that frequented state and national parks. Luckily, many parks will grant approval for scattering remains so long as you follow certain requirements. Most parks will allow scattering ceremonies only if they are not in public view or within a certain distance of a waterway. 

For example, you can submit an application to Yosemite National Park for approval to scatter cremated remains. Do keep in mind the approval process for state and national parks can be 3-4 weeks. 

Spreading Cremated Remains on Private Property

Like spreading cremated remains out at sea, doing so on private property is also a safe bet since there are no laws forbidding it. However, you do need to get permission first if the property isn’t yours. 

Spreading Cremated Remains at an Amusement Park

You’d be surprised how many people want their cremated remains scattered at the happiest place on Earth. It’s understandable to want to have your cremated remains scattered at a theme park where you took family vacations or simply enjoyed yourself. 

Scattering remains at a private property that’s open to the public is one of the most difficult options. Even if there are no laws against it in the state, the fact that it’s private property and a business means you can’t scatter remains without approval. Very few amusement parks are going to allow guests to scatter cremated remains onsite even if you do it out of public view.

Spreading Cremated Remains at a Cemetery 

Some families decide to scatter part or all of the remains over the graves of other family members or within a memorial park at a cemetery. In most cases, that won’t be a problem at all. 

One exception is green cemeteries. There are more regulations about what can and can’t be done in a green cemetery in order to maintain the integrity of the grounds. If the person had a green cremation scattering the remains in a green cemetery’s memorial park shouldn’t be an issue. 

Green Cremation Texas is here to help guide families through the entire cremation process. Call us anytime if you have questions about the regulations surrounding scattering ceremonies.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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