Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Memorial Reef?

A Memorial Reef is created by mixing a loved one's cremated remains into liquid concrete to form a designed reef system. A plaque can be installed on it and placed in legally permitted areas of the Gulf to create new marine habitats for fish and other forms of sea life.

Can I attend the casting of a Memorial Reef?

Yes, family members are notified of the casting dates and are encouraged to participate in the casting as they wish.

Where will the Memorial Reef be located?

A Memorial Reef can only be placed in permitted locations that are approved by Federal, State, and local governments. MBARA has several permitted areas directly off the coast of Mexico Beach, FL. Our staff has selected a primary location within our permitted areas that is ideal for re-generating new marine ecosystems and accessible to SCUBA divers.

How long will a Memorial Reef last?

The Memorial Reefs are designed to last forever. Our reef mixture begins with standard concrete and adds special additives that increase its strength. We add natural Florida Limestone which is eco-friendly attracts critical marine life, and encourages growth of various types. This growth eventually coats the Memorial Reefs and enriches the environment.

Will a Memorial Reef move?

Many artificial reef structures have withstood strong storms. However, in 2018, Category 5 Hurricane Michael passed directly over the coastal waters of Mexico Beach. Some structures experienced various degrees of movement while some others didn't. Structures at shallower depths experienced greater forces of current and storm surge while deeper structures were less affected.

Do you monitor the Reefs?

Yes. We have a dedicated dive team that periodically monitors the artificial reefs and records the conditions. Results of the reef surveys and accompanied photos/videos are posted at

What kinds of plaques are available?

A common plaque material used in former memorials have been laser-etched black granite.

How will I know where the Memorial Reef is located?

We record the coordinates as we place the Memorial Reef on the Gulf's bottom and publish the coordinates on the MBARA website. The authorized family representative will receive a certificate that identifies the longitude and latitude of the memorial reef.

Can I visit the location of the Memorial Reef?

Yes, you can visit Memorial Reefs. You can visit by boat and fish or dive on the Memorial Reef. The exact coordinates will be listed on your Memorial Reef Certificate as well as posted on the MBARA website and local nautical charts.

Can I put more than one set of cremated remains in a Memorial Reef?

Yes, you can have one set or multiple sets mixed in a Memorial Reef at the time of the casting. There are some limitations based on amount of remains and the size of the memorial. Please call for more details.

How often do deployments occur?

Deployments occur at least once a year, and more often depending on the type of Reef and our annual funding situation.

Can I place personal memorabilia in the Reef?

Once the Memorial Reefs have been cast, family and friends are given the opportunity to personalize the Reef by creating handprints, inserting personal keepsakes and writing messages in the damp concrete reef mixture before it dries. Many loved ones feel this is a wonderful way to stay in touch for eternity.

Can the cost of the Memorial Reef be treated as a Tax Deduction?

The MBARA is a 501(c) (3) not for profit corporation; therefore, donations may qualify for a tax deduction. This determination will be left to your professional accountant.

What if I would like to learn more about the Memorial Reef Program?

Please contact the MBARA at or at 850.527.6306