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SF Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39 loses accreditation amid reports of turmoil

PIX Now morning edition 5-24-2024
PIX Now morning edition 5-24-2024 09:59

SAN FRANCISCO – The Aquarium of the Bay is losing its accreditation, amid reports of turmoil within the organization and the recent resignation of the aquarium's CEO.

In a statement Friday, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums announced their accreditation commission unanimously voted to rescind the accreditation of the institution located at San Francisco's Pier 39.

The commission said the aquarium was not meeting standards in "a number of key areas", which included financial stability and staffing capabilities, along with employee morale and turnover.

"Despite multiple opportunities to comply with the requests of the Commission to provide sufficient evidence of progress made to address the areas of concern as required by the terms of their 2023 accreditation, the Aquarium of the Bay failed to do so," Dan Ashe, the association's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Friday's announcement comes amid the resignation of aquarium CEO George Jacob on Wednesday.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the aquarium's board took action after staffers complained about receiving calls from collection agencies and deteriorating equipment at the aquarium.

Employees also shared data with the newspaper purportedly showing Jacob lavishly spending on travel last year, which included $286,000 on flights and hotels, along with $461,000 to host a climate change concert in Dubai featuring Stewart Copeland, drummer of The Police. The aquarium was also reportedly behind on its rent last year.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums said Aquarium of the Bay has until June 13 to appeal.

"We hope that the Aquarium of the Bay can quickly resolve these issues, and if so, we look forward to welcoming them back into our community of members," Ashe said.

CBS News Bay Area has reached out to the aquarium for comment.

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