DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Following a seven-year struggle, the fish are back in Detroit’s Belle Isle Aquarium.
Mayor Dave Bing cut the ribbon on Friday, reopening the century-old attraction that closed in 2005 due to financial problems and had been available only for special events.
The aquarium will now be open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
The Belle Isle Conservancy raised money to help the aquarium’s rebirth and is working with volunteers to operate the attraction.
“Our collaboration with the Conservancy to reopen this treasured facility is a great example of making public/private partnerships work in transforming,” said Bing. “Even on a limited basis this reopening is a win-win for the city and for everyone who comes to Belle Isle and the aquarium.”
Bing, who says recreation is more than just sports, was presented with a ceremonial key in the shape of a fish.
WWJ Newsradio 950′s Florence Walton spoke with volunteer Jennifer Bordman who wrote the grants that paid for repairs to the building’s roof and windows.
“We’ve got enough room to do a lecture hall in the back; we wanna partner with the universities. We wanna do water initiatives where we talk about zebra mussel invasions. We wanna do educational programs,” Bordman said.
The aquarium features fish native to the Detroit area and the Great Lakes as well as turtles and some endangered species. Currently, only 14 of the 59 tanks are running.
Get more information at this link.