Ashes to Ashes... With a Stop as Fish Habitat on the Way

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A new artificial reef off Fort Lauderdale, Florida, may not be entirely artificial. A Georgia-based company, Eternal Reefs, Inc., provided Broward County authorities with 15 reef balls that incorporated the cremated remains of recently deceased, conservation-minded individuals within the concrete mixture. The company's "memorial reefs" have already been deployed off Sarasota and Marco Island, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina. For more information, visit www.eternalreefs.com.

Fishing remains an enormously popular outdoor pastime in America, with broad economic, social and conservation values, according to an outdoor-recreation report compiled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. According to The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 44 million Americans fish, with anglers spending nearly $42 billion on equipment, transportation and lodging, and other fishing-related expenses. Anglers' expenditures grew by 33 percent over the last decade. The "ripple effect" on the economy at local, regional and national levels shows the broad economic impact of sport fishing has grown from $108 billion in 1996 to $116 billion in 2001. Sport fishing also supports one million jobs, more than the number of people employed by McDonald's, one of the nation's largest employers.