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Lake Comegys and Silver Lake are natural freshwater remnants of receding glaciers from the last Ice Age and are notable for their close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, The Nanticoke Tribe held summer encampments around Silver Lake to gather shellfish from the ocean, and various Native American artifacts have been found along the lake’s shores. During the colonial era, ship captains fetched fresh water from Silver Lake before heading out onto the Atlantic. Lake Comegys, formally known as “Tan Vat Cove,” and Silver Lake, formerly “Rhodes Pond,” “Lake Newbold,” and “Lake Charles,” were originally one lake but were separated in the early 1800s due to pollution from a tannery located at Lake Comegys. During the War of 1812, Colonel Samuel Boyer Davis, the American commander of defending forces at Lewes, blocked access to Silver Lake to strategically keep vital resources out of British hands. In 1933, the Delaware General Assembly established Lake Comegys and Silver Lake as State Bird Refuges. In 2004, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 37 sponsored by Senator George Bunting and Representative Peter Schwartzkopf was adopted. The resolution recognizes these state-owned lakes as natural treasures to natural freshwater lakes in Delaware and the United States, distinguishing them as the only natural freshwater lakes in Delaware and “closest freshwater lakes in the nation in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean…” Also, in 2004, Save Our Lakes Alliance 3, a non-profit citizens’ organization, spearheaded efforts to improve the ecological health and maintain the beauty of Lake Comegys and Silver Lake.

Installed in 2014. Reinstalled in 2021.


The Honorable Ernesto C. “Ernie” Lopez, Delaware State Senate

The Honorable Peter C. Schwartzkopf, Speaker, Delaware House of Representatives

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20303 Silver Lake Drive, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

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