A Local Way Of Learning
Title: CAYS: FACT OR FICTION?
Author: Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School-
Environmental Education Team
Grade Level: 4-6
6.Resources 2.Social Studies
Using a pre-post study quiz technique, students will acquire some basic facts
about the cays that surround the Virgin Islands via the activity.
The pre-post study quiz technique is used as an introduction to a unit on the
importance of cays to Virgin Islands environment. Students like the challenge!
1.Administer the true-false quiz, set aside.
2.Discuss or distribute DCCA Fact Sheet No. 12 for independent study.
3.Administer follow-up quiz. Score.
4. Discuss general aspects of cays contribution to Island environment.
Coastal Environments: Offshore Cays, DCCA Environmental Fact Sheet No. 12.
CAYS: FACT OR FICTION?
11-13 correct = A
Test your knowledge of facts pertaining to the cays that surround the Virgin
Island Mark the statements that follow as either true or false. Then study the
DCCA Fact Sheet No. 12 and do the test a second time. Use column "A" to answer
first try; column "B" for second try.
T F 1. None of the cays that surround the T F
Virgin Islands have well-developed
T F 2.Because of remoteness, the cays T F
attract large populations of reef
T F 3.The cays have little fresh water T F
because of exposure to drying wind
and salt spray.
T F 4.Because of remoteness, the cays are T F
popular rookeries for local and
T F 5.Hunting is prohibited on all T F
publicly owned cays at all times by
T F 6.Because the cays have many mongooses, T F
there are no rats, lizards or snakes
on the cays.
T F 7.Tropic birds, brown boobies, terns, T F
and mountain doves are some that
nest on the cays.
T F 8.There are 56 cays around St. Thomas T F
and St. John, and three that are off
T F 9.Two of the cays are named Buck Island T F
and both are owned by the federal
T F 10.The largest of the cays is about T F
50 acres in size, and some rise
as high as 700 feet above sea
T F 11.Many of the cays have salt ponds and T F
are surrounded by some coral
T F 12.Major use of the cays by people is T F
for diving, snorkeling, swimming,
camping and picnicking.
T F 13.While there are many cays, they offer T F
little protection as storm buffers to the
DCCA ENVIRONMENTAL FACT SHEET NO. 12
COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS: OFFSHORE CAYS
What Are They?
Cays are small over shore islands that vary in size from small
pinnacles of rock to as large as 170 acres and as high as 700 ft. above sea
level. Most range between five and 50 acres. Simple rock protrusions are often
bare and serve mainly as roosting and nesting sites for sea birds. The larger
cays have beaches, rocky shores or cliffs, and some vegetation. Many have salt
ponds is and are surrounded by some degree of coral development. A few are
inhabited; most are hard to get to.
There are 59 cays in all. All but three of these surround St. Thom and
St. John. Most of the cays belong to the Virgin Islands Government, although
many of the larger cays are privately-owned and five are owned by the federal
government (Water Island and Buck Island, St.Thomas; Trunk Cay St. John; Green
Cay and Buck Island, St. Croix).
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