Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New underwater city welcomes deceased and divers

Divers, ecologists and tourists are expected to be among those attracted to a landmark "Underwater City" off the coast of Miami, Florida, that will also serve as a final resting place for the deceased.

The Neptune Society, which calls itself the largest cremation-only service company in the US, says its Neptune Memorial Reef will be a "design and engineering wonder" located in 45 feet of crystal clear water.

"Set to launch November, 2007, The Neptune Memorial Reef is a re-creation of the legendary Lost City that will be the largest and most enchanting man-made reef of its type in the world," says the company, which adds it is the first of its kind.

It will cover 16 acres of ocean floor and have room for 125,000 remains.

Jerry Norman, president and CEO of the Neptune Society, said:

"The Neptune Memorial Reef is a first for the industry and a major step toward creating a new way for people to honor and remember their loved ones in a beautiful setting that reaffirms life and promotes marine habitat, coral growth and supports tourism."

The reef will also be a world-class destination for divers and explorers, he added.

The intricate concrete and bronze structures were conceived to invite countless species of marine life into the city.

Report by David Wilkening

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