About Us

Our Mission | Who We Are


Our mission is to protect caves, karstlands, and groundwater resources.

Who We Are

The American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) is a nonprofit membership organization whose activities and proceeds are dedicated to the conservation of caves and related resources across the nation and around the world.

The ACCA is committed to providing personally useful education for those who live in, use, and enjoy karst landscapes. To most people, caves are dark and mysterious. Misconceptions about them abound. Many of the adverse impacts of land use on karst and cave resources are unintentional and result from a lack of basic knowledge about how karst lands and caves function and interact. We utilize our museums, educational programs, projects and assistance to provide education about karst landscapes.

ACCA programs are comprised of three interrelated, fundamentals components – museums, educational programs, projects and assistance. Under these broad program areas, the ACCA promotes cave and karst conservation through education, technical assistance, and direct resource protection projects. Education is the key to our programs. Knowledge yields insight which yields personal decisions that are beneficial to cave and karst resources. Our audience ranges from the general public (and especially school children) to those who directly use cave and karst resources or make decisions that affect these resources.

ACCA Programs-Museums, Educational Programs, Projects and Assistance

Our History

ACCA began informally in 1978, and was incorporated in 1981 as a not-for-profit corporation in Virginia and immediately began national-scale efforts to protect caves and karst lands. In 1986 ACCA moved operations to Horse Cave, KY and began efforts to establish the American Cave and Karst Center. A feasibility study for the center (now called the American Cave Museum) was completed in 1988. Development of the museum involved the ACCA, the City of Horse Cave and major private benefactors from Kentucky. The museum formally opened to the public in 1992.

As a member you will receive our “ACCA News” to keep you abreast of what is happening at Hidden River Cave and cave and conservation related news; discounts on admission to the American Cave Museum and Hidden River Cave; voting privileges for election of ACCA directors; and discounts on ACCA events, publications, and gift items. More importantly, you will receive the opportunity to help conserve the fragile and irreplaceable natural caverns and karst areas located throughout America.

Our Achievements

Here are some of our accomplishments:

  • Cleaned up the groundwater supply in south-central Kentucky, which was once heavily polluted.
  • Built and opened the American Cave Museum and provide cave tours at our headquarters at Hidden River Cave in Horse Cave, Kentucky.
  • Install bat gates at cave entrances and work with private, public and federal lands across the United States.
  • Provide cave and environmental education programs and host and lead teacher workshops.
  • Promote, support and contribute to cave conservation nationally and worldwide.

Our Goals

With your help, this is what we hope to accomplish next:

  • Host science symposiums and workshops for future karst educators.
  • Expand our cave and karst education program across the world.
  • Build our membership program.
  • Continue to build partnerships and relationships with cave and karst groups across the world.
  • Spread the word about fragile and amazing cave and karst systems around the world.

The American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) is a National 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization.
Donations and Memberships are Deductible to the Fullest Extent Allowed by Law.

About the American Cave Conservation Assoc