Special Use Permit Information for Scattering of Ashes

Biscayne National Park is a beautiful, unique place that has touched many hearts. On occasion, visitors request to memorialize a loved one by scattering their ashes here.

The scattering of cremated human remains (“cremains”) in the park requires a Special Park Use Permit. It should be a small private affair, held away from high visitor use areas. Because cremains cannot be placed or dispersed within 100 yards of a body of water, road or trail, or within developed areas, this activity is not permitted at Convoy Point (the only park area accessible without a boat). Several important conditions to consider in your plans for the scattering of ashes at sea are listed below.

Applications: Complete the Application for Special Use Permit, paying careful attention to include all details of your request. Please review the Terms & Conditions listed below prior to submitting your permit application as they outline the specific requirements and restrictions of the permit. Mail the completed application to: Biscayne National Park, Attn: Special Park Uses Coordinator, 9700 SW 328 Street, Homestead, FL 33033.

Permits: If your application is approved, a Special Use Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. Upon receipt, please review, sign and return the permit to our office for the Superintendent’s signature. After the Superintendent signs the permit, a signed copy of the permit will be forwarded to you. The approved, signed permit copy must be in your possession at the time of the ceremony. All permits require a minimum of 15 business days to review. This review period begins the day the completed permit is received.

Terms & Conditions: To maintain park natural and cultural resources and quality visitor experiences the following restrictions and requirements apply to Special Use Permits for scattering of cremains:

1. In addition to the Special Park Use Permit, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) & Clean Water Act regulations apply.

  • Cremated remains must take place a minimum of three nautical miles from land.
  • All burials/scatterings must be reported to the EPA (Region 4) writing within 30 days of the activity. Details and forms are found on the EPA Burial at Sea information page.

2. Access to the area must be kept open to the public and the memorialization cannot interfere with normal visitor activity in any manner. The park will not exclude nor allow you to exclude other park visitors from the site during the ceremony.

3. Ashes must be fully refined with no detectable remains.

4. Scattering must result in complete dispersal of ashes. Cremains may not be piled in one location or buried.

5. No natural resources will be disturbed in any way.

6. No monument, memorial, plaque, structure, urn, photo or other commemorative item may be left within the boundaries of Biscayne National Park. Do not bring any potted plants, dried flower arrangements or any plant with seeds as these may introduce non-native or invasive species.

7.The release of birds, butterflies and/or any type of wildlife is prohibited.

8. If chartering a vessel is necessary, a list of Biscayne National Park Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) holders is available by contacting the permit office. CUA holders are CUAs are permitted businesses that can provide boat transportation within the park for a fee.

9. Audio devices and music shall not be used in a manner that may disturb other visitors.

10. The permit must be in your possession when scattering cremains.

11. The permittee recognizes and is aware of the sensitivity of this activity and agrees to perform it in a discreet and private manner.

12. The permittee recognizes that the National Park Service (NPS) does not commit to treating the area as sacred or as a burial ground or cemetery. Park uses, operations, and programs will be continued without regard to the presence of the cremains.

13. Violation of the terms and conditions of the permit may result in the immediate revocation of the permit.

Other stipulations may be added depending on the specific nature of your request.If you have any questions about the application process or your permit, please contact the Special Park Uses Coordinator at (305) 242-7747, or email: BISC_Permits@nps.gov.

Last updated: March 17, 2021

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Mailing Address:

9700 SW 328th Street
Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033


305 230-1144

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