This is the thirty-sixth edition of state-by-state rules and regulations related to scattering ashes and focuses on the state of Louisiana. This unique state has a diverse mix of both, cultures and geography. It is home to expansive prairies, beautiful rolling hills, stunning rivers, impressive wetlands and the historic city of New Orleans.
With the growth in the number of people choosing to be cremated (mainly due to the lower cost of cremation and that families are less traditional than before), funeral directors in Louisiana receive many questions about cremation and scattering a loved one. This includes if scattering ashes is allowed in Louisiana, where in Louisiana they can scatter, and what urn is recommended to scatter with. In this state guide we provide important information that helps answer these questions and many others.
Rules for Scattering Ashes in Louisiana
No state laws exist in Louisiana that restrict where families can keep or scatter a loved one or pet’s ashes. Cremated ashes can be kept in a grave, niche, crypt, urn, or any other container of your choosing. Ashes are harmless and present no health risks.
If you choose to scatter the ashes of a loved one (or pet), there are many great options on where you can do this in Louisiana. Even without state-wide restrictions on scattering ashes, it’s recommended that you reach out to the city or county government offices where you plan on scattering to find out if any local restrictions or rules are in place.
Where Can You Scatter Ashes in Louisiana?
Many families choose to scatter the ashes of a loved one at a special meaning to them or their family, or another beautiful location outdoors. A popular option is to also have a memorial service at the time of the scattering. This can be a great time to gather family and friends and reflect on and honor the loved one who passed. Many services also include having people who attend participate in the scattering.
Below we’ve provided information on some of the more common places families scatter ashes in Louisiana.
- Yard or Other Property You Own – As with most other states, in Louisiana you are allowed to scatter ashes in your yard or on other private property that you own. If you’re interested in scattering on property owned by someone else, be sure to reach out and get their permission.
- Scattering Gardens – With the increasing cremation rate in Louisiana, a number of churches and cemeteries in the state are establishing scattering gardens. These are special areas on their property where people are allowed to scatter the ashes of a loved one. A quick online search can typically provide you with one or more scattering garden options in your area.
- Public Property – Louisiana has many beautiful places to scatter. Even though there are no state-wide restrictions on scattering ashes, if you prefer to scatter a loved one on public property, it’s recommended to contact the county or city offices where you prefer to scatter to learn about any local restrictions or regulations that may be in place.
- National Parks – Louisiana is home to 5 National Parks that attract over a half million people each year. National Parks are common places where people prefer to scatter a loved one’s ashes. As each park has its own set of rules and regulations related to scattering, it’s recommended to contact the park ranger’s office at the location where you prefer to scatter to learn if scattering is permitted and if any rules or regulations related to scattering exist. Keep in mind that some parks require permits, which can take weeks or even months to obtain.
- At Sea – With Louisiana’s long coastline, scattering ashes at sea is a common option in the Bayou State. If this is something of interest to your or your family, ask your local funeral director about boating companies in the area that provide this service, or do a quick internet search for nearby scattering at sea services. A few things that are important to understand before scattering at sea - the EPA needs to be notified within 30 days of any scattering at sea occurring and the Federal Clean Water Act requires that ashes are scattered at least 3 nautical miles from shore.
- By Air – As with many other states, there are no state laws in Louisiana that prohibit people from scattering ashes from an airplane. Just make sure that whoever is doing the scattering holds onto the urn used to scatter - federal aviation law prohibits letting go of anything from the sky that can harm people or property.
What to Use to Scatter Ashes?
With the growing interest in cremation, many new and uplifting urns and memorial options have been introduced over the past few years. This includes urns that are designed to scatter ashes, and below we provide information on some of the most common ones.
Eco Water Urn
Many people in Louisiana have a special connection to the water and choose to have their ashes scattered at sea after they pass. The Eco Water Urn is a new patent pending urn designed for water burials (or scatterings at sea) that has quickly become a leading urn available online and at funeral homes in Louisiana and nationwide. This unique urn is constructed from recycled plant materials and floats like a buoy for a short period of time, until the bottom dissolves and the ashes are spread in the water. The Eco Water Urn comes in an eco-friendly bamboo protective case, which is used to safely transport the urn holding a loved one’s ashes to that special place on the water for the scattering.
Eco Scattering Urn
The Eco Scattering Urn is patented urn designed to scatter ashes and is made entirely from bamboo, a fast growing resource. This special biodegradable urn is offered online and by leading funeral homes in Louisiana and throughout the country. It includes a unique open and close locking mechanism, which makes it easy for families to secure their loved one’s ashes in the urn while transporting it to a location to scatter and also helps people scatter with control and ease. The Eco Scattering Urn comes in four sizes and starts at $49.
Paper Scattering Urns
Paper scattering urns are also a popular option for families interested in scattering a loved one’s ashes. These come with a nature image or other picture printed on the outside of the urn. They are easy to use and are considered a low-cost option to other urns on the market. However, paper urns do have some drawbacks, including that they shouldn’t get be used in rain or snow (water can effect the integrity of the urn) and gluing part of the urn together is a required step while loading the ashes.
With the growing interest in cremation in Louisiana and many other states, a number of new and unique memorials have recently been made available that can include a loved one’s ashes. With these new options, many people find that it can be a challenge to decide on a single memorial for a loved one, and instead, elect to separate their cremated ashes into two or more memorials. This can include scattering some of the ashes at a beautiful location, and then using some or all of the remaining ashes in a bio urn to plant a living tree memorial, in a stone or jewelry that can be worn with pride, or in a colorful glass tabletop decoration, among a number of other unique options.