AZA accreditation shows that Aquarium of the Pacific meets the ‘highest standards’

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long beach aquariumThis week, the Aquarium of the Pacific received accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Only 221 zoos and aquariums in the United States have received this honor.

“The Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”

Home to more than 12,500 animals from large sharks to colorful tropical fish, the Aquarium of the Pacific has 50 indoor and outdoor exhibits. The nonprofit is dedicated to instilling a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems. More than 1.5 million visitors come annually to see the animals and participate in the attraction’s popular programs, which are designed to engage the public in ocean conservation and environmental education.

“Aquarium of the Pacific is a great place for people to connect with the natural world and each other,” Maddy added. “As centers of conservation and education, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums support their schools and communities with inspirational science-based wildlife programs.”

To be accredited, the Aquarium of the Pacific underwent a thorough investigation which includes meeting high standards in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission, who finally votes to grant, table, or deny accreditation.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802. The Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Dec. 25 and in April for the Grand Prix) For information, visit or call 562-590-3100.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. For more information, visit

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