Brandon Howard is a fish biologist in the Habitat Conservation Division for NOAA's Southeast Regional Office.
Brandon began his federal career with the Jacksonville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, in 2004. While there, he led and facilitated wetland delineation and plant identification training thereby developing and enhancing his communication abilities. Brandon gained skills at fully implementing USACE’s section 404, Clean Water Act, regulatory program throughout south Florida and the Florida Keys. He represented USACE on the Mitigation Banking Review Team and was an expert witness testifying on behalf of the Department of Justice in criminal wetland violation cases.
In 2006, Brandon joined the NOAA Fisheries, Habitat Conservation Division’s (HCD), Atlantic Branch in West Palm Beach, Florida. There, he was responsible for conducting Endangered Species Act and Essential Fish Habitat consultations for the east coast of Florida and the Florida Keys on a diversity of habitats ranging from coral reefs to tidal freshwater wetlands. In 2016, Brandon moved to HCD’s Gulf of Mexico Branch in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he is the federal project manager and team leader for coastal restoration projects funded through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Brandon manages nine projects that have, or will, result in over 1,000 acres of tidal salt marsh creation and restoration along Louisiana’s coast. Brandon was the acting Chief for HCD’s Gulf of Mexico Branch in 2021. Brandon received the 2020 NOAA Bronze Medal Award in Leadership for his contributions to long-term coastal resiliency and economic security by creating miles of shoreline and hundreds of acres of wetlands. In 2019, he received the NOAA Southeast Regional Office Deputy Award for being an inspirational leader and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. That same year Brandon received the 2019 Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for streamlining processes in the Protected Resources Efficiencies Program. Brandon earned a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi (2000) and attended the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.