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Shreveport Aquarium to pursue Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation

Updated: Mar 24

Shreveport Aquarium is excited to announce it is enrolled in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) “Pathway Toward Membership” program. Entry into the program is a first step to seeking accreditation by one of the world’s premier zoological accrediting body.

“Every journey is a story worth sharing,” says Jon Whitehead, Director of Development. ”We want to invite the entire community along for the ride and share the triumphs and challenges along the way. AZA accreditation is the gold standard and we hope it can help us amplify our mission and help us motivate people to personally engage in protecting our planet.”

The “Pathway Toward Membership” program is a consultant services agreement between AZA and the Shreveport Aquarium to establish a path forward as it seeks membership in AZA within a five-year timeframe. Through the Pathway program, AZA intends to grow the professional zoological community, enhance animal welfare and conservation, strengthen advocacy for zoos and aquariums, and engage new participation in the association. Although the program does not grant membership or guarantee successful accreditation by AZA, the Shreveport Aquarium leadership is confident it will complete the journey.

Shreveport Aquarium is currently paired with an experienced coach, Rich Toth from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, who is dedicated to providing advice and counsel along our journey. While collaborating with Toth and AZA staff, the Shreveport Aquarium is working toward meeting or exceeding the requirements of reaching the highest standards of excellence in the zoo and aquarium profession.

“The professionals at the Shreveport Aquarium are working hard to secure AZA accreditation, and they are well on their way,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “From their paddlefish rearing and release program, to jellyfish and coral propagation, to educating the Shreveport community on plastic free efforts and planting pollinator gardens, Shreveport Aquarium is making a difference in its community, which is a hallmark of AZA-accredited facilties.”

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

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 12 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. To learn more, visit

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