Newport News Lake Maury, named for Confederate officer, is now The Mariners Lake - The Virginian-Pil

Before there was the Lions Bridge, before there was The Mariners Museum, before there was a Newport News shipyard, there was Waters Creek.

The body of water that runs by The Mariners Museum and Park used to be a salt marsh creek feeding into the James River before it was dammed to create a wildlife sanctuary.

For over 80 years, it has been Maury Lake, named for oceanographer and Confederate officer Matthew Fontaine Maury.

That is, until The Mariners Museum board of trustees voted to change the name to The Mariners Lake on June 19. The museum plans to have a community event celebrating the name this fall.

If the goal in the lake is going to be to tell the story of Matthew Fontaine Maury, there are better places to do that, museum President and CEO Howard Hoege III said Wednesday. In fact, we do that in our galleries.

The move comes as a number of institutions have reevaluated their connections to Maury.

A monument dedicated to Maury in Richmond was taken down by the city on July 2. James Madison University on Tuesday changed the name of a building dedicated to him to Mountain Hall.

The Norfolk School Board plans to consider renaming Maury High School at a meeting next week.

Were in the education business, Hoege said, and it turns out that simply having a name on something does not do a ton to tell the history of something, or in this case, someone.

Maury is sometimes referred to as The Pathfinder of the Seas for his contributions to oceanography as an officer in the U.S. Navy....

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