Green goals: Clea Klagstad seeks right balance between development and preservation

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Clea Klagstad stands in one of the wetland areas at Renaissance Park on the North Shore.

It was truly the best and worst of times for Clea Klagstad in 2019 – she was expecting her first baby, but her two-year-old environmental consulting firm was struggling.

"I had enough projects to stay afloat," she says, "but I was working 40 to 50 hours a week at a job I wasn't really getting paid for."

Klagstad says she had bid on a large federal contract just before she learned she was pregnant, but wasn't optimistic.

"If that contract doesn't come in," Klagstad recalls, "I'm thinking maybe I shut it down."

But then her firm, Circadian Consulting, won that contract, and everything changed. More contracts followed, including one with the City of Chattanooga.

"And I had a lot of private contracts," she says. "Developers who called because they had wetlands they didn't know what to do with."