A company is proposing to build artificial reefs in two locations on Oahu using human remains encased in balls of concrete.
Hawaii Memorial Reefs is scheduled to present its proposal to the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board at its regular meeting tonight, Tuesday evening, July 26.
According to the meeting agenda:
A proposed seven-acre artificial reef in Maunalua Bay (“Paradise Reef”) would provide an alternative to traditional burial by incorporating cremated remains into concrete “reef balls” to serve as memorials and reef-building materials – Richard Financ, www.HawaiiMemorialReefs.com
The company is targeting Maunaloa Bay off Hawaii Kai, and another reef at Ko ‘Olina, according to its website.
There is no indication whether the company has obtained or applied for state permission to utilize these reef areas for commercial purposes.
Already, the proposal has drawn opposition from two organizations.
In written testimony, Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui said the burial reefs are inappropriate in the heavily-used waters of Maunaloa Bay.
Traditional Hawaiian practices of canoe paddling, fishing and surfing take place in Maunalua Bay. To add an underwater cemetery to these waters is not appropriate and will interfere with these practices. Who wants to canoe paddle over an underwater cemetery?
A second organization, Aha Wahine, which describes itself as a Native Hawaiian organization registered with the Department of the Interior, cited conflicts with traditional practices and “potential harm to the bay” in opposing the proposal.
Hawaii Memorial Reefs LLC was registered to do business in Hawaii in July 2012, according to state business registration records. It was register by Richard Filanc III, who is listed a manager of the limited liability corporation.
The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the Hahaione Elementary School Cafeteria.