Located throughout the state, California's zoos and aquariums are significant components of its cultural resources.  The California Association of Zoos and Aquariums, known as CAZA consists of 22 voting members accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a national organization founded in 1924. 

CAZA began in 1986 and was incorporated as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization in 1992.  Collectively, CAZA's member zoos and aquariums serve more than 500,000 member households and host more than 20 million visitors each year. Combined, CAZA institutions reflect a financial contribution of more than $1.8 billion annually to the State of California's economy.

In addition, CAZA's member zoos and aquariums use their facilities and resources to help educate thousands of California students, preschool through college, about conservation and biology.

California's zoos and aquarium community is a microcosm of the zoo and aquarium network throughout the country - with each institution sharing its commitment to the principles and purposes of zoology.  The professional staff at CAZA institutions offers California a rich resource of expertise and experience in conservation, as well as environmental and animal management. Together they represent hundreds of years of working with captive and wild populations of rare and endangered animals - from small invertebrates to large mammals.