The Association of Zoos & Aquariums announced the accreditation of the Georgia Aquarium on Monday, April 2.

“Only the very best zoos and aquariums can meet the gold standards set for accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums,” AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe said. “By achieving AZA accreditation, Georgia Aquarium demonstrates that it is committed to exemplary animal care and welfare, educational and inspiring guest experiences, and supports AZA’s mission to conserve our world’s wild animals and wild places.”

The aquarium went through a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet rising standards in such categories as animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety.

The accreditation process includes a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operations, and the accreditation commission interviews top officials.

The aquarium received its first accreditation from the AZA in 2008 and was accredited again in 2013.

“Being an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums is not only an honor, but a testament to our commitment to the care of all animals,” said Joe Handy, the president and chief operating officer of the aquarium. “We look forward to our continued successes with AZA in the world of animal care and conservation.”