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Maritime Aquarium’s ‘gold standard’ rating

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk recently became one of 236 institutions in 13 countries  that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), an authoritative nonprofit organization founded in 1924.  

According to a news release, “an independent team of zoological professionals,”  inspecting the Aquarium over a period of days, scrutinized all aspects of the operation including “animal welfare and wellbeing, veterinary care, staff training, safety for visitors, staff, and animals, educational programs, conservation efforts, financial stability, risk management, governance, and guest services.”  The Aquarium’s management then underwent  a formal hearing, after which a full five-year accreditation was granted.

AZA President/CEO Dan Ashe said “Congratulations to the staff at The Maritime Aquarium for achieving the world’s ‘gold standard’ for the zoological and aquarium profession. AZA’s standards continually evolve to reflect best practices in animal care and wellbeing, veterinary care, conservation, scientific advancement, and safety and security, among other things. With this assurance, the public can trust that the animals at The Maritime Aquarium receive the highest level of care and wellbeing, and there is a deep commitment to their conservation in the wild.”

Maritime Aquarium President and CEO Jason Patlis said “The Aquarium’s accreditation is a testament to the dedication of our staff, who share a passion for our animals and the conservation of Long Island Sound. Whether they are providing care, conducting field research, or introducing guests to local species at our touch tanks, our staff does so with enthusiasm, respect, and a level of knowledge that has set us apart. We are proud to be recognized as a leader among zoos and aquariums, as well as our community here in Connecticut.”

Other AZA-accredited Connecticut facilities are Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport and Mystic Aquarium.

AZA’s website, which includes a full list of accredited institutions is at Association of Zoos & Aquariums | AZA.org.  The Maritime Aquarium’s website is at www.maritimeaquarium.org

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