Ms. Straughan is an environmental professional with 40 years’ experience in all aspects of multimedia environmental compliance, permitting, wetland delineation and mitigation design. Eileen successfully established Straughan Environmental in 1995 and managed its growth over 24 years to employ nearly 100 employees, all focused on improving the environment one project at a time. Ms. Straughan’s areas of expertise include:
- Environmental management
- Environmental compliance
- Permit negotiation
- Sustainability in water use, energy use and waste generation
- Water resource management
- Wetland delineation
- Wetland permitting
- Stream restoration design
- Living shoreline assessment and design
- Noise analysis and mitigation
“It is an exciting time to be an environmental professional because protecting the environment is sometimes just as important as accomplishing the overall project objective. Whether we are working on an improvement to the transportation system, creating livable communities or developing safe and effective utility infrastructure, protection and enhancement of the environment is often part of the project objectives. Sometimes it is a regulatory imperative, but sometimes the project sponsor is committed to improving the environment while accomplishing the project objective. This is a LONG way from where we were at the start of my career in 1981, where minimum measures to comply was the order of the day and understanding the environmental context of a project was considered ‘out of scope.’”
Tell us about your most exciting or rewarding project at Straughan.
There have been many, but two really rise above the rest. The first was a wetland mitigation site I designed at Fort Meade, MD. The site was a groundwater driven forested wetland at a time when groundwater driven systems often failed. The second was the riffle grade control designed for fish passage at the Route 40 culvert at White Marsh Run in Baltimore. I was admonished that “this project is either going to make or break my firm,” and thanks to the design prowess of our engineering team, it was successful.
What is your favorite outdoor memory?
I recall picking wild blackberries in Alaska with my family and being surrounded by a cacophony of indignant sounds from squirrels in the nearby trees giving us “the business” for taking their blackberries!
What is your favorite quote?
“Sometimes you have to fix the plane while you’re flying it.” – Russ Koolhof (my Dad), when I was struggling with the deployment of a new accounting system at Straughan back in 2002.