A Spiral Island


A SPIRAL ISLAND – by Richie Sowa

Insert the missing words ito the text below.

WHO        IN           WRITTEN          YEARS          PLASTIC        BUILDING ARTIST       ABOUT         COOL        THERE          AROUND        BY    

A Spiral Island was a floating island in a lagoon near the coast of Mexico south of Cancún. It was built _____ British eco-pioneer Richard (or “Richie”) Sowa beginning in 1998; he filled nets with empty ________ bottles, on which he poured sand and planted numerous plants, including mangroves. It was destroyed by Hurricane Emily ______ 2005.

On the island _______ is a two-storey house, a solar oven, a self-composting toilet, and three beaches. He used some 250,000 bottles for the 66ft (20 m) by 54 ft (16 m) structure. The mangroves were planted to help keep the island ________, and some of them rose up to 15 ft (5 m) high.

Sowa is a musician, an ________, and a carpenter. Now in his fifties, he is an environmentalist ______ believes in recycling. He is now _________ another island in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

A book _______ Richie’s journey in building the original island and his philosophies, titled “Spirologically Speaking” __________ by the German author Tanja Samed along with Richie, is in its final stages of editing and due to be released in early 2008.

Over the past 7 ________, Richie’s Spiral Island has been featured in a number of newspapers ________ the world. It has also been written up in blogs. The island was featured in an episode of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! TV show.

Loss and reconstruction

During a hurricane in 2005, Spiral Island was washed completely onto the beach in one piece, with a small percentage of the bags of bottles washed up on the beach away from where it landed. The roots of the 7 year old 7 meter tall mangroves were intertwined through the island’s base and the strong net that was wrapped totally under the whole Island. The island did not sink, but was instead thrown up on the beach almost completely intact.

In September 2007, a Spiral Islanders social network site was set up for those interested in Spiral Island and discussions about floating islands, ecology, marine life, and sustainable eco-friendly living.                

                The Spiral Island

Richie Sowa is building a new Spiral Island in the waters of Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women. His new island is in the early stages of development and construction (as of November 23, 2007).
The new Spiral Island is about 13 meters (40 feet) long so far, with plants and mangroves already growing on the island. The new Spiral Island also has a beach. A few volunteers are camping at the beach and helping with the project.

Write an interview with Richie Sowa about his island.



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