AZA Grants Accreditation To NC Aquarium On Roanoke Island

Posted By on April 7, 2017

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced on Monday (April 3) that the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Accreditation by AZA signifies that North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is providing the best animal welfare and care possible,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “As a proven leader in wildlife conservation, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is among the best zoos and aquariums in the world.”

To be accredited, NCARI underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include 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 North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island reopened to the public in the summer of 2016, following an extensive $6.5 million renovation. The renovation introduced enhanced and upgraded exhibits and new features like the shipwreck-themed Sea Treasures Gallery and the Ironclad Sanctuary, which tells the story of the civil-war era warship the Monitor.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled by the aquarium’s re-accreditation by AZA,” said NCARI Director Maylon White. “To have this recognition come less than a year after our completion of a multimillion dollar renovation is the icing on the cake. We are proud to be a part of the AZA community and happy we can provide a fun, engaging and educational experience to our area’s visitors and residents.”

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas.  Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

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, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, AZA-accredited facilities are collectively working to use their conservation science, wildlife expertise and the 186 million visitors to save species in the wild by identifying threats, developing action plans, raising new resources and engaging the public.

NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

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Posted by Matt Artz

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