The Neptune Memorial Reef recently crafted a brand new sea turtle mold this past May in honor of Paloma de Mazieres who passed away two years earlier. As the first new mold in almost nine years, the sea turtle mold will provide families a new way to remember their loved ones.
Paloma de Mazieres passed away May 25, 2014, in a boating accident. The boat she was traveling in ran into a small island by Turtle Rock in Bimini, Bahamas. To memorialize their daughter, her parents wanted to have her ashes in a sea turtle mold placed at the Neptune Memorial Reef. However, the Reef didn’t offer a sea turtle mold, and a new mold would require extensive engineering and expenses to create. The family opted for a sea star placement, and Paloma’s star became a part of the Neptune Memorial Reef, along with two glass turtles placed beside her.
This year, Neptune Memorial Reef created a new sea turtle mold modeled after the Reef’s resident sea turtle “Crush”, and it was only fitting the first turtle would honor Paloma’s memory. The sea turtle was placed by the Neptune Memorial Reef staff on the island where the collision occurred, as a permanent memorial on May 14, 2016. Paloma’s friends and family attended the event.
The new sea turtle mold is just one of a plethora of molds that one can choose to be a part of the memorial. To create the molds, ashes from a cremation service are mixed with cement and poured into molds of various structures that, when placed in the reef, will create a reef inspired by the lost city of Atlantis. Approximately 32 sea turtle molds will be available in this limited release.
The Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater memorial off the coast of Key Biscayne that also serves as one of the largest and most prolific artificial reefs in the Atlantic. The structures created from the ashes of loved ones provide anchors for rare corals to grow and flourish, giving new homes to fish and other sea life and making this memorial site a lively place. Among its more famous residents are roughtail stingrays “Desi” and “Lucy,” along with a species of long-spined sea urchin that was previously thought to be extinct in the Caribbean.
The Neptune Memorial Reef is a popular dive site both for families visiting their loved ones and those who simply want to see the life in the Reef themselves. Divers can visit the Reef by heading to the coordinates N25º 42.036′, W80º 05.409′. Four buoys mark the dive site. The red buoy, nicknamed “Wilson,” serves as the ascent line.
A few updates will also be coming to the Neptune Memorial Reef. Expansion plans for the Reef have already been approved, and will be implemented in the near future. There are also design plans for another new mold: the sea biscuit. The sea biscuit, when completed, will be the smallest marine placement in the Neptune Memorial Reef.
For more information, visit the Neptune Memorial Reef website or call (877) 370-7333. Cremation is required to become a part of the Reef, but Neptune Society can provide families with cremation services carried out with care and respect. For more information about Neptune Society cremation services, please contact a nearby office.