Seattle Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Program Recognized with National Award

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced that the Seattle Aquarium has been recognized with the 2018 Volunteer Engagement Award for the aquarium’s significant achievement in the Youth Ocean Advocates Volunteer Program. Seattle Aquarium received this national award during AZA’s September conference in Seattle.

The AZA Volunteer Engagement Award recognizes outstanding achievement in volunteer program development and engaging volunteers in the overall mission and operation of the organization.

“Seattle Aquarium has excelled in building the Youth Ocean Advocates program to provide meaningful, memorable experiences for volunteers, inspiring a new community of zoo and aquarium supporters,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “AZA values immensely the tens of thousands of loyal, enthusiastic volunteers whose hard work helps us achieve our mission to protect wildlife.”

Since 1994, the Seattle Aquarium’s Youth Ocean Advocates volunteer program has effectively engaged over 2,000 young people in volunteer service in support of the Aquarium’s mission. These youth volunteers connect Aquarium visitors to animals and habitats, cleanup beaches and plant trees, and raise money to support conservation causes. As part of their service learning experience, youth volunteers have an opportunity to earn college credit through a partnership with University of Washington Bothell which recognizes the deep and diverse knowledge volunteers put into practice through their roles at the aquarium. In 2017, 267 high school students provided 30,071 hours of volunteer service.

“Youth volunteers are leaders of conservation action at the aquarium, in their homes and in their communities,” said Robert Davidson, President and CEO of Seattle Aquarium. “We are proud of these young people and honored by their commitment to the Aquarium, our mission, and the health of the ocean.”

To learn more about AZA’s Honors and Awards, please visit

About AZA
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 seven 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

About the Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is one of Washington state’s leading environmental education and stewardship institutions, and the region’s gathering place for discussion and sharing information about marine conservation. It maintains a number of research initiatives in cooperation with federal, state, zoological and university partners. The Aquarium is located on Pier 59, at 1483 Alaskan Way.

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Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345