Dubuque, Iowa – The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium received notice on Sunday, April 14, that it has been accredited for another five years by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA is the most prestigious accrediting body for the zoo and aquarium industry. The non-profit organization helps its 230 member institutions maintain the highest standards in animal care while providing services advancing animal welfare, public engagement, environmental education, and the conservation of wildlife.
“Less than 10% of animal exhibitors registered with USDA have achieved AZA-accreditation, so the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium truly ranks among the best-of-the-best,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “The River Museum has shown its commitment to conservation and protecting the natural world by meeting our accreditation standards in animal care and welfare, which are universally acknowledged as the ‘gold-standard’ within the zoological profession.”
The accreditation process includes a written application, multi-day on-site inspection, and in-person hearing by an accreditation commission comprised of experts in the industry who measure the River Museum’s performance against other organizations and professional best practices.
“This is our third successful accreditation since 2009, when the River Museum was first accredited,” said Kurt Strand, President & CEO of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. “Nearly every aspect of our operations was scrutinized during the accreditation process, and this accreditation is a testament to the dedication, professionalism, and hard work of our living collections team and every department at the River Museum.”