The scattering of cremated ashes can be a beautiful way to pay homage to a loved one, especially if that loved one had a special connection to a particular place. However, it is important to remember that Florida, like other states, has regulations about where and how ashes can be scattered.
It is illegal in Florida to spread cremated ashes near or on public lands. This regulation includes public parks, city streets, town squares, monuments and other such areas where the public has a legal right to visit. However, this regulation does not apply to national parks in Florida, and it often is possible to get permission to spread ashes there.
Scattering of ashes in a public waterway also is illegal in Florida, to ensure that people cannot accidentally ingest particles of human remains. Since much fresh drinking water comes from rivers, lakes, streams and connected tributaries, these bodies of water all are off limits in Florida. However, you can scatter ashes in the ocean. The Environmental Protection Agency requires only that ashes be scattered at least three miles from the shore. There are many options for those looking to spread ashes over the ocean, including boats and even helicopters.
Although it is not illegal in all cases to scatter ashes on private property, you must get the permission of the property owner. Florida law also requires that the ceremony be completed in a way that is discreet and sensitive to others. Private property includes many sporting arenas, theaters and private parks.
The state of Florida requires that, when scattering the ashes over land, there be no evident or obvious piles of cremated remaining at the end of the ceremony. In order to ensure that the ashes are spread adequately, it is best to have the ceremony on a windy day and be downwind.