A vital part of AZA’s government affairs strategy is the continuing education of all Members of Congress as to the value of accredited zoos and aquariums, the vital role they play in conservation, education, recreation, tourism, job creation, and collectively as major contributors to the economy. Strengthening these relationships is vital to ensuring that zoos and aquariums will be viewed as trusted sources of conservation and environmental information.
As an educator, you are an ideal advocate for your zoo or aquarium. You already have a lot of practice with commanding an audience’s attention, communicating important facts, and telling compelling stories about the work your institution does. Refer to the Advocacy Made Simple guide for suggestions on how to engage further in education advocacy. Additional resources are available through the Legislative Education Center.
The Conservation Education Committee prepared a statement on Supporting Classroom Learning through AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, which outlines some of the valuable ways that zoos and aquariums contribute to formal education. This document can be used to help you advocate for conservation education in schools and can be incorporated into grant proposals as evidence of how AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos play an important role in education.