Monday, April 22, 2024

Shoalhaven’s river tribute to Charlie Weir

Shoalhaven City Council is working in partnership with Shoalhaven Riverwatch to improve the health of the Shoalhaven River and pay a special tribute to one of the group’s life members.

Shoalhaven Riverwatch undertakes ‘hands-on’ work such as bank stabilisation, fox control for the protection and longevity of threatened shorebirds and tree planting, and also works with Council and Government agencies to advocate for the health of the river.

In 2021, Riverwatch’s patriarch and life member, Charlie Weir (pictured, below), passed away, leaving an incredible legacy which includes a forest of Casuarinas and Mangroves along the banks of the river and Numbaa Island. The mangroves stabilise shorelines by absorbing the energy of wind and wave action and provide a buffer that helps minimise erosion, whilst also performing a key role in carbon sequestration. 

Charlie Weir.

Riverwatch have approached the NSW Lands Registry Services to officially name the revegetated area at Numbaa ‘Charlie’s Forest’ in recognition of his incredible contribution to the Shoalhaven River.   

Council manages the popular Bolong Road fishing platform, which is located almost directly across the river from ‘Charlie’s Forest’.  

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley said that over the past nine months, Riverwatch had liaised with Council to develop an interpretive memorial sign in honour of Charlie Weir for the fishing platform.   

“I was pleased to join Riverwatch volunteers today to install the sign, planted some native grasses and cleaned up around the vicinity.”   

“Charlie Weir is affectionately remembered as “Old Man River”, a real local hero. It builds on the tradition of the Shoalhaven Community to have a memorial that not only celebrates his life, but also contributes to the awareness of the community to our environment and history,” Mayor Findley said.   

As ‘Charlie’s Forest’ is relatively inaccessible, the fishing platform is an ideal location for an interpretive sign to promote the value of mangroves in improving the health of the river, and to celebrate the life and work of Charlie Weir and Riverwatch, the Mayor said.

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