In Memory and Appreciation of Claire Le Guern

Claire Le Guern with her young daughter
Claire Le Guern with her young daughter

It is with great sadness that I write to report that Claire le Guern, the heart and soul of Coastal Care, passed away in early July of cancer. I first began to communicate with Claire in 2010 following a request from Orrin Pilkey to write a Beach of the Month story for the Coastal Care website. Over the subsequent eleven years Claire and I exchanged messages regularly and I was pleased that she accepted and posted a number of my Beach of the Month articles.

Claire was truly an amazing, dedicated, thoughtful, encouraging and enthusiastic savior for the ocean and all things natural, and her love for the sea and shoreline is so clear on the Coastal Care site. She not only kept up with and included coastal issues globally on a daily basis, but eloquently wrote a significant number of stories herself, and also in her own very polite and unique way, encouraged and acknowledged the writings of other many other coastal scientists. She was a gift to the preservation of the world’s beaches.

Claire was born on the shore of Normandy, France, and was then raised in the tropical French Caribbean (Martinique) where her love for the ocean was born and continued to grow. She studied law in Paris, had two master’s degrees in International and Business Law, then did post-graduate studies in law obtaining the highest DESS (Diplôme d’études Supérieures Spécialisées) awarded at that time. Because of her academic achievements and talent she was recommended to come to the USA to master English, which brought her to Santa Barbara. Through a meeting with Olaf Guerrand-Hermes, who had an identical educational pathway and love for the sea and shoreline, Claire took on the role of developing and managing the newly established Coastal Care website that Olaf had envisioned as a memorial to a tragedy in his own life.

We have lost a dedicated coastal hero but her memory, dedication and many contributions to coastal conservation will continue to live with Coastal Care.

– Gary Griggs
Santa Cruz, California

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