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FOBIA  Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium

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- Messages from 2005 -

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Though I'm only now becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the many resources my city of birth has, this certainly comes at an awful time.  I would very much like to see every institution dedicated to the cultural preservation of our city saved as well as and opportunity to explore these attractions on my own.  I sincerely hope a resolution is found.  If we can save painted whales on the side of the David Broderick building, surely we can save live fish and the aquarium.


PLEASE! Do NOT close the Belle Isle Aquarium. I love that place. It's beautiful. I have been going there since I was a little  kid. It may not be on the scale of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, or the aquarium in Tennessee, but that is its' charm. The fact that it's the oldest aquarium in the country makes it significant and very special. This is a quality of life issue in Detroit. We can't just keep shutting things down, boarding them up and leaving them to rot. We have done far too much of that already. If Detroit keeps this up, there really is no point in even living here.


I am in deeply angered by the fact that the Detroit (Royal Oak) Zoo is planning on shutting down the Belle Isle Aquarium.  I have visited the aquarium twice in the last year and each time, there were many visitors present.  This IS NOT a case of lack of paying visitors; it's a case of the Royal Oak Zoo (oops,I mean Detroit zoo) wanting everything together in one location.  I am interested in doing anything I can to help stop the closing of the aquarium.  Detroit doesn't need another abandon building.


Why not bring in additional volunteer staff in order to maintain the facility.  Certainly GDAS would be a good start with the hobbyists.  Why not additional programming not limited to music, dinners, lectures, strolling cocktail parties, etc.  This is a perfect opportunity for a nonprofit structure to be put in place to operate the facility.  



Why not get rid of the mayor's overpaid 'hangers-on' instead!

The aquarium is a rare and beautiful historical site that countless generations have admired and loved - KEEP IT GOING!!

We need to keep that things that are unique and great about Detroit alive!

Ready to fight the good fight.


The Belle Isle Aquarium should be treated as a National Landmark!  It should be protected, just as other historic places because it is a piece of American history will never be duplicated.  The Aquarium is SO MUCH MORE than an aquarium - it is memories, it is dreams, it is life in Detroit at its most peaceful!!  It MUST remain open!!!!


How can Detroit cut off its nose to spite its face? Save the Aquarium!


What's next to go, the library, the DIA?


It would be a real loss to the City of Detroit and all of the residents of Michigan to lose this 101 year old landmark.  It is the oldest aquarium in the country, and a treasure of the City of Detroit, that should be preserved for future generations.  The only reason for the drop in attendance this past year, is the zoo director closed the Belle Isle Zoo, which drew more people to the Island for visits to the zoo, Aquarium and Conservatory.  What will Belle Isle have to offer in the future.....NOTHING!! WHAT A SHAME!!!!


The Zoo is becoming less and less of a Detroit icon as it removes its operations from Belle Isle.  The Aquarium is not only a historical building but a great educational tool and visitor attraction.


I am willing to donate some time.  I am already a non-profit professional so I may have some skills that are needed.


I am intensely saddened by the news that the historic Belle Isle Aquarium may close and I am willing to do anything within my power to prevent it from doing so. We must save this aquarium for our children and their children.


I think this is the most insanely stupid things to happen yet. I am not happy with our Mayor but, if this happens they all need to be impeached. I think they are all crooks.


For our children's' sake!


My heart sank at the news. How can we let such a gem go to the wayside. I don't know how we can do it, but I'd like to see what we can do. I'm tired of being culturally assaulted by the powers that be. Maybe I could get the Waldorf School involved.


It is a sad day when a city must sacrifice its  Aquarium in order to balance its books.


I may not be a resident of the city, but still a regular at the wonderful island of Belle Isle. I have been visiting the island since a small girl and still amazed at what wonderful species reside in the aquarium.  I have brought out-of-state friends to marvel at this site as well.  Actually, its surprising how many non-Detroiters actually do visit the aquarium (this would pertain to sightseers and tourists). Sentencing the aquarium for termination would just continue to hurt the city in what it has to offer as means to sightseeing and entertainment.  Please allow those that have admiration to the seemingly scarce beautiful things in Detroit to remain open.  What does Detroit have to offer after all its fascinating buildings are closed?         Nothing.


Our family enjoys the Aquarium several times each year and would find less reason to visit Detroit if it were closed.


I love the Aquarium! I am 45 and cannot think of a single year I have not visited. It is one of the only peaceful places left in our city.


Glad to see you take up this fight.


You would think one of those darn casinos could keep it going with a total of 3-hours of their earnings.


Where exactly is all that additional revenue going?  And the stadiums?

Douglas Barnett"


It's sad to hear they are closing the oldest aquarium around - what are they thinking?  All the major cities have an aquarium - they want to make Detroit a city that people visit so why are they taking away the attractions!!! Let me know if I can help fight!


Yes!!! Please keep it open. Detroit need all the beauty it can.

I think Mayor Kil(detroit)patrick is corrupt and has destroyed everything Dennis Archer had done for our community.


There must be another way.  This is obviously a landmark of significant historic and educational value, even aside from its incredible beauty.  I'm interested in discussing alternatives.  There must be a way to find enough money, perhaps through private avenues, to not only to sustain the aquarium, but to make steps towards restoration.  


Please contact me to help. I have taken my children to the aquarium many times and I hate the idea that it is supposed to be closed. 


The aquarium is one of our last treasures from the past.  Such and beautiful and unique place.  We must save it.


Let me know what I can do to help. 


Please do reconsider closing the Belle Isle Aquarium.  Look no further than Cleveland or Baltimore to remind us of the progress still to be made. Do not relinquish what gains we have made


My children love the Belle Isle Aquarium.  We live Downriver and it is closer than the main zoo and not a crowded


There are too few opportunities now for education for our children.  Please do not deny them another one!!!!!!!!!

I find this to be extremely upsetting that the City Council and the Mayor would just give up and close the Aquarium for no other reason than to "save money".  The Belle Isle Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in North America and deserves to be treated with the same respect and honor as any other significant landmark in the city.  I understand that the city needs to generate income, but at what cost the loss of such a historic landmark is reprehensible, to say the least.  The Aquarium is not given its proper respect by the city let alone Zoo management, it should be used more by the local schools, so what if it is older and not as "pleasant" as some of the newer aquariums, but as is said never judge a book by its cover.  I have found the staff at the Belle Isle aquarium to be some of the most well informed and educated in the field of marine biology.  To Close the Aquarium due to "budget constraints" is to do a great disservice to the city and its residents.


Don't do this terrible thing. The Aquarium has been a force for education and pleasure for so many years. Cut something else....but not this. Save it for the children of the city.


I am very upset when I heard about the Belle Isle Aquarium closing. I love going to the aquarium and it is a big part of my life. I have been visiting the aquarium


 since I was a baby and every time I visit I love it more and more... Please I will do anything to help to keep the Belle Isle aquarium open! Picketing, sit in anything!"


Once those doors close, that's it, another ruin. The money involved pales in comparison to what is spent on patronage and no-show jobs for friends of the mayor, councilman Bates and others. This is a travesty and is inexcusable.


what a shame to close such a beautiful place. It should stay open for another hundred years!!! 


It is truly unfortunate that Detroit, and especially the leadership at the Detroit Zoo (specifically Ron Kagan), is turning its back on yet another cultural and historic gem.  Why is it that the Zoo is able to raise millions of dollars in fundraising over the past few years (construction of a new Amphibian Center, polar bear exhibit, enormous education building, and hospital), but has NOT attempted to raise a dime to help its most historical asset?  Why did the Zoo close down the Belle Isle Zoo, only to promise a new 'belle Isle Nature Zoo' nearly four years ago, which is still nowhere near completion?  Why has the Zoo spent hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping over 200 common foreign fallow deer penned up on Belle Isle?  Could none of these wasteful enterprises not afford to be sacrificed to help save the Belle Isle Aquarium?  What about all the wonderful conservation of endangered species, education, history, and entertainment this facility has to offer?  Not every city is fortunate enough to have an aquarium, big or small.  Why doesn't the City, and The Detroit Zoo, expend any effort on promoting this unique facility?  The answer to all of these questions is obvious.  The leadership at the Detroit Zoo, which the CITIZENS of DETROIT fund, is turning its back on the very people that make its existence possible because they don't know how or choose not to market the island facilities.  If its not brand new and located in suburbia, they don't want it but will gladly keep the name "Detroit" because that's where the majority of their funding comes from.  Sure, there is talk of building a new waterfront aquarium in the city but where will the money come from?  If the city cant afford a ╜ million a year aquarium, and is slashing the budget at the Zoo, then what makes them think they can possibly afford a giant new aquarium costing over $100 million?  Its time to stop destroying the last few things in Detroit that have any value, and start preserving and promoting our treasures.


Please keep the aquarium.






We need more of this type of attraction in the city and why not advertise it?  The funding should come from private funds.


The closing of the place would be a very bad mark on the City Of Detroit...the place could be used to generate revenue for the City if used properly, I won't vote for those that end it.

I've visited, and I loved it


this was one of the first place we visited with our kids when we moved to Michigan and took our families there when we visit3ed us.. this saddens me

We can not let this happen!


Another landmark destine to close? I hope not, hopefully there is a charitable organization that can help. There's got to be something out there that can help raise the funds to keep the doors open. 


I will forward this page to my everyone on my e-mail list and hopefully they will do the same--bound to get some idea's.


This was the largest aquarium in the US when It was built a hundred years ago.  that's got to count for something.  are there no federal programs to protect such landmarks?  Could a toll be added to the belle isle bridge to bridge the budget gaps?  Lets not let what happened to the boat club happen to the aquarium!


The Aquarium Is an Important Part of the City, The Programs they Have are Very Enjoyable and to close it would make others who Love it go elsewhere to teach their Children of Nature and its Happenings, Please Don't close such an Important Part of the City's Culture and History. Thank you for Your time.


The Aquarium Is an Important Part of the City, The Programs they Have are Very Enjoyable and to close it would make others who Love it go elsewhere to teach their Children of Nature and its Happenings, Please Don't close such an Important Part of the City's Culture and History. Thank you for Your time.


Please let me know if there is any way we can help keep the aquarium open!


The closing of our Aquarium is arbitrary and insensitive to the children of the metro area. The administration wishes to chop off the head to cure the headache.... 


My family is a strong supporter of Belle Isle & The Aquarium and the Detroit Zoo. We go to the Detroit  Zoo on a regularly.  We also take our children to Belle Isle and the Aquarium and will do whatever we can to keep the Aquarium open.  


I grew up in Highland Park, and now live in Texas.  The people of Texas, would give there right arm, and there left arm, also, just to have one of the Jewels of Detroit, eg, The aquarium, Belle Isle, Palmer Parm, et al.  Why are you going to close, and probity kill, one of our heritage sights?  There has to be a way, to keep the Aquarium open.  ask Mike Illich for money, he has enough to spare, now that the Red Wings are not playing.  On season of the red Wings payroll, will keep it open for another ten years."


save the aquarium!

Do you think it may be possible to solicit a corporation or corporations to underwrite the aquarium? Just a thought...


There are many areas where budget cuts can be made...Please do not take from an organization that does so much good for it's inhabitants and the community.


We need a new mayor! His priorities tend to be that of a 14 year old's. (Maybe 16)


If necessary, a fee should charged that will cover the cost of keeping the aquarium open.  People spends tons of money on junk.  I think those same people would spend it on visiting the aquarium.


This is an institution we need to save.  I have fond memories of the electric eel and have visited w/my kids.  Let's not let this turn into another vacant landmark in our city.


We love the aquarium! It is the perfect place to bring kids because it is not so gigantic like other city aquariums. You cannot close this hidden treasure.


I can't believe anyone would choose the Aquarium as a logical budget cutting choice. The Aquarium is a destination all by itself. My wife and I have been taking our son there since he was 1, and have made a point to bring out of town guests there as well. It is truly a jewel of the city, and to close it just as the country will be looking at Detroit for the SuperBowl and All-Star Game, they are going to be closing one of the few gems left in the city. Shame on whoever came up with this shortsighted plan. How about less limousines and entourage for Hizzoners family? No that's too sacrosanct to cut.


I LOVE the aquarium! I take my classes there, my nephews, and my grandchildren. And sometimes I just stop by myself.


The Belle Isle Aquarium is one of Detroit's most historic and intact buildings.   The City closed it without even trying to get support and fundraise for its survival.


This is an outrage to close such a historic aquarium. In fact, I believe it's the oldest in the nation. I've visited this beautiful aquarium and it would definitely be sad to loose yet another jewel in Detroit's crown. 


As a resident of Detroit, I'm very sadden by this.  My two year daughter loves the aquarium so much, we went there many Saturdays last summer, and would continue to do so.  This is not the way to fix Detroit's financial problems.  Government acts like this are driving out residence that WANT to live and spend money in Detroit, but ultimately we will leave for a place with a vibrant urban environment.


Valuable resources like these are more important than balancing the financial books.....keep the aquarium open and remember another of the reasons the state can be proud. The work is too worthwhile to lose and is a credit to those who work in the aquarium and all who support it. Credit where it's due.....and credit to those who make it a resource to be proud of.


Keep this important inner city teaching tool part of the community.  Please help set up and allow a non-profit/ volunteers to run, update and improve a major resource to the region.


Let's keep things that are positive about Detroit a constant and start getting rid of the negative.  All large cities have aquariums, to take ours away would do yet another injustice to an already drowning metropolis.  Tear down some of the broken down abandoned buildings in the city, dismantle a corrupt government, close down the crack and drug trade.  This aquarium is one of the few historical buildings that hasn't been gutted, we need to do whatever we can to save it!


Save the aquarium!  What can we do to help?


Does it really cost the city $500,000 a year to keep the aquarium running? That figure seems too high.  I know the city is hurting & looking for ways to cut costs, but can't they re-evaluate this decision & find alternatives to keep it open?  


The aquarium is one of the great wonders of Belle Isle & Detroit.  

This is one of the dumbest moves ever for Detroit.  Why doesn't the city advertise & promote the aquarium more?  That would get people in the door. 

This is the oldest freshwater aquarium in the United States.  

What is the mayor thinking by closing it down?  

How sad this would be to close the aquarium.  Sometimes that is the only reason we go to Belle Isle, especially in the winter.  We just went there over this weekend and it was crowded in there.


Living in northern Michigan, the ONLY opportunity we have to gain any "culture" is on our trips to Detroit. We pay the high car insurance because of Detroit's base. Over and over, northern Michigan suffers because of the Detroit base things are linked to. When Detroit decides to take away the benefits...that means we get even less for our tax dollars. I am tired of "making up for Detroit's record" and getting nothing in return. Please....do not take away what little returns we in northern Michigan have for being linked to the "big city." If we have to "pick up the tab," then at least provide some of the benefits!!!


Many of the animals at the BIA will find no homes at other accredited aquariums.  Many of the rare Mexican fish, especially, are not kept/bred successfully at other facilities, and may have to be euthanized if no homes at other facilities can be found.  The aquarium should be kept open for the people of Detroit until a new aquarium is built (if that indeed ever happens) downtown.  At that time, the "old" BIA should be rehabbed for other uses, and not torn down, as it is a genuine historic structure.  The operating cost of this incredible facility is tiny compared to other city departments, and it provides a service to the residents that they can't find elsewhere.  Keep the aquarium OPEN!

I strongly support the effort to fight the closing of the Belle Isle Zoo. I am from Germany, came to the USA five years ago. Immediately this beautiful Island took my heart although it is a landmark of ruin. Still my family and I are frequently visiting and trying to imaging how beautiful this once must have been. The Belle Isle Zoo is our regularly program- don't let this piece of history and social gathering point for everybody go down. That's the wrong sign!!!

The Bell Isle Aquarium has always provided a unique opportunity to see the fascinating creatures that live below the water's surface.  It has been an experience that I have been able to share with many of the underprivileged and at- risk children I have worked with, it would most certainly be a great loss to our community to see it closed.

Please let me know what I can do to help

We should discuss the networking opportunities available thru Creekside Community Development Corporation, Jefferson East Business Association, and the Jefferson Chalmers Citizen District Council. We have a very active community with approximately 3400 households, with many individuals like myself who like to visit the Island and when it comes to community development, list it with the other reasons to invest in this neighborhood. 


What a shame to see a Detroit Recreational Institution caught in the budget crunch. Even though I no longer live in Detroit proper and am a "suburbanite" I still visit the Aquarium 1-2 times yearly and have shared it with my 4 year old grandson as it was shared with me at that age 46 years ago.


Detroit has too few genuine recreational attractions not related to sporting events.


Please look long and hard at what you're doing to the image of Detroit, especially at a time when we will be welcoming National and Worldwide visitors into our City for special events.


If charging a higher entry fee to access this facility, then so be it!


Keep this a part of the Greater Detroit Heritage, we few enough Heritage items to be proud of.




We need to make a proposal to the Windsor City Council for aid to keep open the aquarium. 


Please do not close the Aquarium.  I have traveled from Toledo, Ohio for many years to Belle Isle. This is one of the main attractions that is still enjoyable.  You are taking away a beautiful site.


The aquarium needs to stay open because of the science that is going on there, because of its history and because it is a cultural, educational, entertaining destination for area residents and visitors. This is part of Detroit social equity that we cannot afford to lose.


The aquarium needs to stay open because of the science that is going on there, because of its history and because it is a cultural, educational, entertaining destination for area residents and visitors. This is part of Detroit's social equity that we cannot afford to lose.


Where will we take our inner-city children to see something other than Detroit garbage?






I've enjoyed the aquarium and the zoo at Belle Isle, especially as a child.  This exhibit represents a living form of art and provides education and wonderment of the larger world in which we live.  It was a factor in my choosing to become a fisheries biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Please allow the Friends of Belle Isle an opportunity to raise funds to keep this treasure open


Does the City even have a plan for the building or will it simply add to the list of blighted, abandoned buildings throughout Detroit?


I was very sorry to read the news that the Aquarium will be closing after 101 years.  What a tragic loss indeed!


This is a historical treasure. Don't erase history because of faulty financing. It's completely unfair. Of course we need a dozen sporting fields... as the Pontiac Silverdome and Tiger Stadium sit alone. Talk about a waste.


I used to visit the aquarium often when my son was young. It was one of the few places in the city to have a great family day!

What a shame that the city officials of Detroit can scam, deprive and desecrate a once great city and a great people. Does it make sense to take away the good of Detroit in order to pad the wallets of those leeching off of the city?


Keep the aquarium open.  It is an old but wonderful facility.  So nice to do with little children since the size is very manageable.  Not everything needs to be new and huge.


Our Aquarium is the first in the USA! I hope funds can be found (FEDERAL?) to keep it thriving.


What a terrible thing, to close the Aquarium.........a valuable resource!


It is very sad to see so much of the cultural enrichment of the city of Detroit disappear. without these institutions how do we find ways to open the eyes of the youth and inspire them. the arts and sciences are what touch children in ways that may steer their futures into something more meaningful. an open educated mind thinks beyond oneself and with tolerance and makes them less likely to follow a self-destructive path. also I think as we loose the gems that this city was built upon it becomes less desirable a place for any outsider to ever want to visit, invest in or consider living. haven't we seen the Detroit population shrink as other major cities in America continue to grow. this could be a good example of why that is happening.  

Why not charge a small entry to the island fee?  This could help with maintenance costs for the aquarium as well as the entire island.

This aquarium is an incredible Detroit treasure.  Please do let this place disappear!


The aquarium is one of the oldest and neatest left. I hope the city can find a benefactor or work creatively to find grant money. I would be glad to help organize a fundraiser (I have the experience). Please contact me to help save this wonderful Detroit gem.


I grew up in Lafayette Park going to the Aquarium on weekends.  Its a gem that should never be closed down.  Why don't we institute a fee system upon entering the park, or even establish a yearly fee.  There are ways to create resources, but I think there are those out there who never want Detroit to prosper.


I think Belle Isle and the Aquarium are among the few gems in Detroit.  Thousands of people a year go to the aquarium.  It's so available to anyone.    Keep it!


Shame Shame on the city!! what a great institution, Let's not let it close


Family entertainment, Historical, Science, Nature, Educational, 


There's no replacing this building. Detroit's aquarium belongs on Belle Isle.


Don't close the doors and turn your back on history!

This is truly a Detroit treasure worth fighting for!  It really just needs to be promoted more.


Keep It Open!!!


How is it that the City can pay for artificial snow for ice-capades when there's no money to maintain such an important and long-loved city attraction?

We used to go to the Aquarium when we were kids; we loved it. People go all the time, even now.  Cities need zoos and aquariums, flower gardens, parks, art and music.  It is more important than ever to maintain beauty and art! This is bad news for the city. Taking away things people enjoy is never right.  It is not cost-effective; we already know that closing schools, laying off teachers and now closing the Aquarium will only have negative consequences. There is no logic in this; funds can be made for the Aquarium, and volunteers and others would and will help maintain it.  Leave it open, Detroit needs this Aquarium! We all can volunteer to help out, enough people should care and will care about this.


As with any aging building, unless funding is available for repairs and restoration, the building will eventually need to be torn down. I work at the 3rd oldest aquarium in the US, and we too are small. However, we are constantly changing, adding new exhibits, refurbishing old ones, etc etc. Unless an aquarium moves forward, its dead in the water. I wonder where the Aquarium figured in the long range and strategic planning processes at the Zoo? Surely such issues were discussed? Unless of course, the decision to close the Aquarium was made long before. I find it hard to accept that the few dollars saved will help offset the HUGE deficit incurred by the city so far in any meaningful way. I encourage the FOBIA to contact the Dallas Aquarium at FairPark, another small aquarium in an old historic building managed from within a zoo ... I am sure they have faced many of the issues you are now.


I feel that the aquarium is a major part of Detroit and that u should keep it open.


The aquarium is a reason for people who don't live in Detroit to come visit and get to see an amazing old building and interesting aquatic life for only a small amount of money. Please please please don't let this happen to the aquarium. We don't want the positive aspects of Detroit to drop away while the negative get all the funding.


where is the eel going to go?!!?  I love that thing, it has been there my whole life


instead of closing the aquarium, make an advertising investment, and get people down here to enjoy the aquarium, like Chicago does. probably no one in the suburbs even knows this place exists, I never see it advertised!


Save the Aquarium

It would be devastating for the Aquarium to close.


Please, I have been going to this aquarium for years!  We need to work to keep it open!  I will do any kind of volunteering!   


Wow, haven't been to the aquarium since I was a kid, but I still remember the huge glass dome of the building. Crazy that they would want to shut something so historical down as usual.



What's next? Being from Europe, I think it's a shame how a former beautiful city is run down! You NEED places like the Aquarium  to give people hope  that Detroit  can still be called a city, and not a dump. 


I cannot believe anyone could allow the Aquarium to be closed down I wish Kalamazoo could have one it is as important as the Ball Park and the Library and the Beaches!


I am appalled that anyone would want to close one of our nations oldest aquariums that also breeds endangered fish. I took a friend from Germany to visit Belle Isle and the aquarium and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't close down this important historic site!


As a former employee of the Belle Isle Aquarium and the City of Detroit, I know on a first hand basis how important the Belle Isle Aquarium is to the city and the state of Michigan.  Belle Isle provides daily education and recreation to many children and adults alike.  It serves as a landmark in Zoological and Aquarium history.  Annually, the work done by BIA employees provides conservation benefits locally and all around the world.  Closing it would be a disgrace and a shame.  

the aquarium should not be closed.  it is a Detroit institution.


I love the aquarium,  and find it very sad that the city would close such a lovely place for residents to enjoy themselves

What a sad day for Detroit and the whole country if this treasure is closed.  Keep up the Fight!


After putting to death all of the deer on Belle Isle, why would we be surprised to see the Mayor and his staff close the aquarium?  Forget that it is the oldest continuously operating aquarium in the United States.  It does not serve the Kilpatrick administration to keep it.  It was the same administration that chose to close the belle isle zoo. The mayor is probably closing it because his thugs could not get in with their weapons.  Maybe the deer licked one of the Kilpatrick kids and look what happened to them.  It is a shame that Detroit has become such a cultural wasteland for drug users and thug mayors. I wonder if the mayor or his thugs will flush all those fish down the preverbal toilet like they did the deer population at the island.  Jim Langhammer we need you back!


I got visit there when I lived in Mi.  Don't shut an important part of learning and letting a child experience the ocean, even if it through glass.

I am an avid fish keeper and it pains me to see the Belle Isle Aquarium go under. (no pun intended) Some of the fish at Belle Isle are rather elderly and moving fish is risky with young frisky ones.  It would be a shame to loose beautiful giant specimens of fish simply because they have to be moved.  What about a temporary relocation to the Detroit Zoo?  Surely they could help out here. What about selling Carlita's new Escalade for the upkeep.


This is a terrible loss !!!not only a historical monument, but a leader in conservation !! Please save belle isle aquarium !

This aquarium has been around so long, and done so much to help preserve aquatic species. Why would you want to close it? To save a little money?. Look around the Detroit area, there are very few things that most of us would go near Detroit for, and you want to shut down one of the best. It really makes me sad that you put money first.


Please don'hgt close this aquarium, as we need something we can call our own in the way of wildlife.  If we do, what's next?  We should again bring before the voters a petition to pay per car to get onto the island.  This will not only help with the aquarium, but reopen the refreshment stands, clean up the park, upgrade the park, reopen canoeing and even horseback riding; all things that have diminished over the years.


I love this aquarium. It reminds me of the one in Cleveland when I was a little girl, many years ago. It must not close! My daughters love it!

The Aquarium stands as a historical landmark, and should be kept open.  It's provided culture to the city in the past and with the proper attention can provide the same culture to today's youth, much like the Detroit Science Center does now.

Ever think of running a Conservancy for the Aquarium; i.e. like the Botanical Society or Campus Martius or Riverfront?  Has this option been explored and is it feasible.  "


The Belle Isle Aquarium is a great resource for the city's youth.  Let's not take it away from them!  Where else in the city can the kids see an electric eel or a stingray for the first time?  It's a great and historic thing and if we don't save it, it will go the way of so many other resources on Belle Isle--to be just a dark reminder of what we once had and have now lost.


Every major city in the U.S., if not the world should have and does have a world class aquarium!! 


I will be among those to help keep this gem on the piece of real estate known as a the city's gem! Thank you for your time..."

Do not close the AWESOME Belle Isle Aquarium!


This is a Detroit icon created by one the greatest architects of all time. Let's not lose its super heritage as the first aquarium in the USA.


If we allow the Hard Rock Cafe to open a joint on Belle Isle can we keep the aquarium? Huh? Please?


private donations, fund raiser? lets not 100 years of history died at the hands of  "kill"-patrick.


? why

I am the organizer of the Aquarium Society of Ann Arbor. Our group has been expressing deep concern over the closing.


I think its a shame that the city can't find the means to keep such a gem open.  If you take away all of the attractions on Belle Isle, what makes it any different than any other park?  I have taken many friends to the aquarium and conservatory in past years, I'd hate to see it go away.


The oldest aquarium in North America.  I have gone there since I was a child and now take my child, from Lake Orion now.  So the City wants people from the suburbs to frequent the city, well they sure are going about it in an intelligent way, not!


I would love to help you in any way - please keep me informed.


I have great memories of the Belle Isle Aquarium. I would hate for my children not to have that opportunity.


Belle Isle has already lost so many fabulous attractions and places that inspire and delight people.  We have the old boat club sitting, rotting away.  Don't kill the fishes, too!


The oldest aquarium in North America.  I have gone there since I was a child and now take my child, from Lake Orion now.  So the City wants people from the suburbs to frequent the city, well they sure are going about it in an intelligent way, not!


What Corporation is willing to take up the gauntlet and fund this worthy treasure in the heart of the city.  

No, no, no!  Don't let it happen!!!! The aquarium is, BAR NONE, my favorite place in Detroit. Let me know how I can help prevent this from happening!


Wendy Case, local musician, journalist, Aquarium lover"


Why are we getting rid of our educational recourses in a time of need?  Don't we need education in order to improve and rise up?  I think closing the aquarium would do us more harm in the long run.  Why can't we charge a small fee to get on the island to begin with?  It would create revenue to help keep up the island, a charge would keep most of the riffraff off, and we would be no different than other major cities.  Isn't there anything else we could do with out?

I am presently working on a proposal to be submitted to the Detroit City Council to make the island self sustaining. Please contact me ASAP! I work for HP Devco and we have met on several occasions.


Being a new resident of downtown Detroit, it would be a shame to see such an important landmark and beautiful building close so close to the re-birth of the downtown area.  PLEASE KEEP IT OPEN!


I can't believe this.  It's bad enough that the Detroit Zoo isn't even in Detroit, but in Royal Oak!  I think that Detroit is not very animal friendly.


Save the Aquarium.


How about the impeachment of that clown Kilpatrick we can use his salary to keep the Aquarium open as well as pay for a new mayor for the city of Detroit.


It is so unfortunate that yet another wonderful landmark on Belle Isle is slated to close.  Seems like the city could have used some of the money they  have spent for the "Winter Blast" or the money that was spent securing a $57,000 vehicle for the Mayor's wife...(oh, my bad...that car (it was said) was for police use) to fund the aquarium.  Canoe rentals....the horse stables....the zoo...what next.....the entire Island?

Its amazing how such a great place in the city of Detroit for its citizens can be taken away. We need more than new cars to complete us. The Aquarium was my first field trip in elementary school. Also it was the first trip I talked my teacher a catholic nun from ssumption grotto to take us in the city. What else can the powers that be take away.


A civilization is measured by its culture.  If Belle Isle Aquarium closes, it is one more reason not to ever venture into Detroit.  Belle Isle is one of the few remaining great things about the city.  Shame on you Director Kagen, shame on you Mr. Mayor.  I'm sorry both of you are in office.


I never thought the Detroit free press would publish my letter on 1/19/05, let alone put a picture and a headline on it. as a native Detroiter I am tired of losing our history. hope the letter to the editor helped.

One of my favorite places to visit on a hot summer day!  Let's keep it open


The Belle Isle Aquarium is a part of history.  Why is this Mayor's administration so set on destroying all the resources of the island.  First the Zoo and now the Aquarium. People will not come to the Island if there is nothing left to see or do.  

The money it takes to maintain the Belle Isle Aquarium may seem unwieldy; however, what price do you put on the education that so many Detroit students acquire through experiencing the aquarium. Experts agree, children retain information they receive through real experience at a far higher rate than sitting in a classroom or reading a textbook. There is so much to learn at the Aquarium: biology, environmental science, animal behavior, etc. Please don't rob the students of Detroit, and the people of Detroit of this important resource.


We should be improving it, not closing it.



     Still another of the very few remaining ""Detroit Institutions"" to be abandoned.     Shame!

     I have ALWAYS visited both the Belle Isle Aquarium and Flower House both alone and with dozens and dozens of drawing and painting classes.     The loss of this institution (100 years old) will only once again signal the second or third class quality of life in and around Detroit.

     First education, then the arts and now culture......wonder why they don't close the mayor's mansion instead?

     I'm behind you and many, many others I know are as well...I'll let them know!

This cannot happen!  It's an institution, I still remember going to the aquarium when I was a kid, in the 50's.


Why close the aquarium. There are two zoos, why not just consolidate them into one.

Maybe kwame can put a nascar track where the aquarium used to be, or better yet, a HARD ROCK CAFE"


The aquarium should be expanded, not closed.


Keep the Aquarium open!  


It is a restorable building and a Detroit landmark.


Have volunteered at the aquarium...want to save it! Jen


I lived in the Detroit area for 22 years. What is the problem with the Detroit City Council's lack of support for the entire Detroit Zoo & Aquarium? What is it with the string of poor Zoo Directors, Gunther Voss,Steve Graham,Ron Kagan? Where do they dig up these guys? Look into all their pasts & you may see a pattern of poor management. I have been a professional animal keeper & aquarist for 30 years, it is sad to think this can happen. I think it may have started with Steve Graham... It's time to clean the Aquarium, not buy a new one.  Good luck, Jeff Gee / Captive Bred Wildlife Foundation ( Tropical Fish Pond, N. Woodward R.O. MI. 78-91 ) now in AZ.

This isn't some misconceived lumbering dinosaur costing millions, it's a unique and irreplaceable little jewel of a place. 

mayor@mayor.ci.detroit.mi.us found at http://www.heidelberg.org/Pages/Support/raise_voice.html

When friends visited from Toronto the only truly interesting thing I could show them on the island was the aquarium..  what a loss it would be to people of Detroit,

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a great place to lean about different types of fish and under water plant life, and about fish that don't belong in the great lakes

 I don't understand why the city needs to throw away  another "historic" landmark/institution that if marketed the right way could benefit the community. So were going to spend, what, a 100+ million on a new aquarium not including the jacked up price tag of upkeeping such a "state of the art" facility. I think any amount of money to create such a place could be put to better use.    -Patrick Cavanaugh


The aquarium is a very important part of my and my friends and families childhood if I had any money I would give it to you, have you hit up the paddocks (benefactors for the Belle Isle maritime museum) cheers

This aquarium is a undeniable asset to Detroit. None of England's aquariums are as pleasing to the eye, the inside looks well taken care of and so very clean. Brighton aquarium must be about the same age and this place and is an eye sore compared to the belle isle aquarium It would be a great shame to close it.
Craig Ward 
London England
p.s. had to use girl friends email as I never had one/never really need one

Please do not close such an historic aquarium. This place is needed to much to continue housing and breeding the endangered fish species it currently houses.

I have never been here, but have heard great things about it and its freshwater stingray breeding. I am a ray enthusiast and would like to keep places like this open.

This wonderful piece of history has been a family tradition for 3 generations, it would be a travesty to see one of the few things about Downtown Detroit that are appealing to those outside the city to vanish


When I was a kid a school trip Why should citizens of the suburbs visit Detroit. Anything family affordable is either shut down, or prices raised . The Aquarium is one of a very few jewels that Detroit has left. Belle Isle is Dying. You have aloud the Belle Isle Zoo to close. The nature center is gone . The trip to just not much left for families or school groups to visit on the island. Not many schools visit because the zoo is gone. It's a costly ust vist the aquarium for less than an hour would include the zoo, aquarium, and the nature center, if open. The conservatory was ok, but appreciated much more later in life. Will that be the next jewel of the island to go. Turn Belle Isle back into a family island like it used to be, and the jewel of Detroit will shine again.

  Ron Kagan is not a native Detroiter. He could care less about our history. Our pride. Or our future. He acts as if the zoo or aquarium is a splinter in his foot. He can't wait to get it out. I can't wait to get Mr. Kagan out. He is the splinter in the Spirit Of Detroit's foot.

   Thanks for reading my frustration about an Island that once was the best thing Detroit and it's suburbs could ever agree on. It was a great place to visit.

a place that breeds endangered species should be funded not shut down

If we lose the Belle Isle Aquarium it will be just another tragedy for the City of Detroit.    This simply cannot happen.

I was born and grew up in Detroit, We lived in Lafayette Park and the kids went to Chrysler elementary school. we had great times at  Belle Isle, and loved the Aquarium. Let's keep our history alive!! save the aquarium.  Let's not destroy our past. 

The Aquarium is a treasure.  Let's work to keep it open.

This is a valued and important community resource. Only the City of Detroit could close such a wonderful place like the Belle Isle Aquarium.  My family and I have visited the Aquarium many times and have come away more enriched each time. 

What ever happened to the fish that cloned itself? 

Couldn't the Aquarium get a federal grant to study this phenomenon by which keeping the institution open?  It is by far the best four dollar value I have ever spent.

Issue: Closing of the Belle Isle Aquarium
Temporary closing?  Cost of mothballing the Belle Isle Aquarium (BIA)
Permanent closing
Loss of piece of the cultural history of Detroit

Belle Isle Aquarium as a cultural institution Value 

Closing BIA shows Detroit can't care for itself

Since the Belle Isle Aquarium has the above value, the BIA should not have to be totally self-supporting.

What are the actual financial numbers for BIA?
Admissions money
Operating costs
Recent renovation costs (are these counted in and artificially inflating the $500,000 per year?)
Expected renovation and repair costs?
Can the Detroit Zoo be trusted to supply accurate financial numbers?
The main zoo has been starving BIA
No advertising
No joint events
No easy link to BIA website
No push for the BIA website
$4 admission charge - 


I feel the BIA should be a Detroit tradition.  A $1 or $2 per head charge would allow local metro people to visit the aquarium every time they are near Bell Isle.

Who are the players?
Who are the decision makers?
What are the critical decision points?
Can BIA be cut from the Detroit Zoo and stand on its own?
Will some other group buy the BIA?

Is talk of a new aquarium a pipe dream and diverting attention from BIA?"


That aquarium is very important to Belle Isle they need to keep it open!!!!!!

I'm a volunteer at the aquarium. Not only will we lose a part of Detroit's history, but the staff will lose their jobs and the animals will have to be transported around the country.
keep it open.

I really think the local council will be doing the City of Detroit a disservice by closing down this revered ichthyological institution.

I was displeased to hear that the Belle Isle Aquarium may be closing. I live in Detroit and have two children. My hope is to continue to live in and support the city; however, I find it increasingly difficult to do when there are few activities and options for children. I hope that every consideration will be given to keeping the aquarium open.
Please add me to the petition to save the aquarium.

The aquarium is awesome!  Too bad people want it closed.


Well,come along kids,get aboard the bus-

there's trouble in town and it's up to us!

It's field trip time, come on let's go-

to the Bell Isle Aquarium to see the show!

With most of the planet under the sea,

it makes a good deal of sense to me...

to get to know up close our finny friends,

without gettin' wet from end to end...

Comin' face to face- across the glass,

with perch and pike and trout and bass;

there's more to meet than shrimp, you see-

no can o'tuna ever winked at me!

This here's real life, not a video game;

there's families of fishes-

 get to know their names...

there's lots to learn,and plenty to see-

but they're closin' the doors,

if they don't hear from me...

So, come and join our merry band!

let's cross that line drawn upon the sand;

remember our friends beneath the waves,

show your support today!

Ricardo Rodgers

I believe that the state of Belle Isle could easily be taken back to a grander time by simply charging a small fee per car. to come on the island.  I'm talking about maybe $2.00 per vehicle and $1.00 for walkers, or a yearly pass.  ALL the money collected to go directly back into the up keep and preservation of our beautiful jewel.  The Belle Isle Aquarium is a landmark of Detroit history and should be maintain as such.  Along with building anew we have to respect our past.

How sad to allow the best of Detroit to be sacrificed in order to try and fix a problem that stems from leadership, or rather the lack thereof. Once again the history of Detroit is sacrificed on the altar of what God? The city of Detroit does not gain from this cut. Perhaps each one needs to review the history of this great city and reach into the past to find an answer for the future. In what can Detroiters place pride, faith and loyalty?  Can they  place it in what they perceive to be their self-serving  government, their destroyed neighborhoods, their abandoned historical businesses and churches? I would encourage you to take a good look at this once great city and it's great people and begin to put their best interests at heart. Clean out the true dead weight that is sucking the life from this once beautiful city. It is time to stop padding pockets and start truly doing what is right for the city of Detroit. Far too many good people have suffered at the expense of a few. 


I no longer live in the great city of Detroit, but my youth was spent enjoying a city that was truly cutting edge and historical all at the same time. Preserving the past enhanced the future. I still visit from time to time and am grieved that so few are truly working for the betterment of Detroit. Your people are suffering - it's time to raise the standard.
Keep the aquarium alive!

I don't think Belle Isle needs another abandoned historic building. We need to find ways to provide profit generating activities on Belle Isle as opposed to continuously relying on closing activities to solve budgetary problems. As a Detroit Rec. Department employee, I can confidently say that the City is not doing all it can with Belle Isle or its other recreation treasures. 

Zoo Director Kagan was hired to nurture both the Royal Oak Zoo and the Belle Isle Aquarium and Zoo! By effectively cutting all advertising for these facilities, he can now argue "poor attendance"!

The City can save a bundle by cutting the Director's salary if he minimizes his job by closing the Belle Isle facilities!

A Friend of the Aquarium: 
I am sickened and outraged that the city has chosen the Belle Isle Aquarium to shut down, in an attempt to manage the bloated and cancerous budget. Clearly there is tax money misspent, thrown away, and stolen by Detroit's administrators. One of the few places where Detroiters actually benefit from paying their taxes is the Belle Isle Aquarium. A priceless educational experience has been enjoyed by the students of Detroit, and its environs, for a century. How can we allow this jonny-come-lately of a mayor and his people to make this decision. There should be laws intact to prevent incompetent and dishonest politicians from ending a hundred-year legacy of education, from casually closing a recreational institution that stands out as a jewel of early 20th-century architecture. History may forget the many scandals of Kilpatrick's reign as mayor, but I believe to many, he will be remembered as the mayor who closed North America's oldest-running aquarium. After being dismantled, how much will it cost to ever reopen? 

This decision has been so cavalierly made as to be almost unbelievable. It is widely reported, and quite obvious, that learning experienced directly by the student is forged into the mind. The model of reading information is the first to be lost by the memory, and lectures will be remembered for only a slightly longer period. Information gained from interactive experiences, like a visit to the aquarium, is retained in the memory for far longer; some pieces of information attained interactively will become forged and never forgotten. Just ask anyone who visited the Belle Isle Aquarium as a child, as I did. It is one exciting experience that is not forgotten. This past summer, I brought my niece there for her first visit. I thought she would become bored before I did. I literally had to drag her out of there because it was closing. I have taken guests from all over America to visit the giant electric eel and the shark who became famous for one of the only recorded events of parthenogenesis. [After conceiving a baby with no male shark in her tank, geneticist from around the country began to study her.] People are uniformly awed by the ornate beauty of the entrance and the elegant design of the interior. Unlike aquariums, like Chicago's Shedd, Belle Isle's has none of the gaudy signs and decoration that turn many aquariums into ugly tourist traps. The tanks are overwhelmed by brightly colored decorations that make each room look like a mini theme-park, i.e., ""The Oceanarium"" or ""The Amazon Room."" Shedd's, like many, has a dolphin theater, where the kids can sit in stadium-like seating and watch dolphins turn tricks for smelt. It's depressing and ridiculous, and there is nothing to learn from it. I have been so proud of our aquarium for not ever selling out to the aquarium as ""theme ride"" model. A visitor can quietly watch the sharks, sea horses and manta rays swim in their appropriate environments. I personally have learned so much about underwater environments, fish behavior and biology in the hours I have spent in the aqua-tiled corridors. I have felt so much pride in showing visitors that the oldest running aquarium is on a beautiful island park in the Detroit river. I have felt so uplifted walking through the ornate entrance of the century-old beauty. I imagine this frustration and sadness is what many Detroiters have experienced over the last 40 years watching their neighborhoods become abandoned, stores close. Tragically, this great feeling of loss may be what defines Detroiters. Hope will be lost for many when the aquarium closes and bitterness will grow in its place.--Sarah Peters

I wish it didn't have to happen.  I spent 6 days per week for 13 of my growing years on the island.  Now I live 70 miles away and still make annual pilgrimages to the aquarium and conservatory at minimum.
Don't let it close!

Is nothing sacred in America today?  Detroit has an architecturally beautiful building, both inside and out.  It has an aquarium that is among the oldest in the world.  This aquarium has inspired children and adults and taught them about the amazing aquatic world for over 100 years.  It breeds endangered species, some of which would be lost to the world if it weren't for such efforts.  So why is this place closing?  Shame on the people who made this decision instead of embracing history, investing in education and supporting conservation.  I hope the voters remember this at election time.

Belle Isle Aquarium was the first aquarium I ever visited as a child. Coming all the way down from Saginaw, Michigan with my family was a great expedition for me as a child and one that I will remember my whole life. As an adult, I have since moved from Michigan but I have made public aquariums my career. I am now a curator at a large aquarium on the east coast. I believe that the positive experience I had at Belle Isle back in the seventies helped mold my career choice and inspire me to do the job I proudly perform today.

I hope that the City of Detroit will realize the gem they have in Belle Isle, take the time and compassion to invest in that gem, and make it place of inspiration for generations to come. Keep Belle Isle Aquarium!

The Belle Isle Aquarium has bred many endangered and ecologically extinct fish for nearly two decades. These fish have been provided to AZA facilities for many years. Belle Isle staff have been conducting valuable research on Fresh water mussels (the most endangered group of animals in North America).  Many individuals and groups would be very disappointed to see such an institution go away.  


Detroit has already lost so much of it's history.  If we continue to let such significant historical and architectural landmarks close we will have no legacy to leave for future generations

As a nature lover, and fish in particular I think it's sad to see that Detroit is willing spend money on sports teams while at the same time closing things such as the aquarium.

I'll add this on my list of reasons to not visit Detroit."

It is an historical as well as magical place.  It would be a great disservice to the city of Detroit  if the aquarium was closed.

Please keep this beautiful facility open for the enjoyment of others.

I also urge the City of Detroit NOT to close this historic building and GREAT museum.  DETROIT LOVES ITS AQUARIUM!!!!  Mr. Mayor Kilpatrick you closed the Belle Isle Zoo and for what.  The proposed Nature Zoo is still not open to the public nor has the DZI made many strides to make it so.  This is the oldest facility of its type in the country or does this title not mean anything to you.  

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a little gem of an institution. It is beautiful architecturally, and important historically. It would be a travesty for it to close! With just a little application of additional resources, every display in that aquarium could be as excellent as at giant aquariums like National Aquarium or Monterrey Bay. What is needed is not closure, but an "Historic restoration" of this beautiful but older facility. I would be delighted to support your efforts to save this venerable and fascinating institution in any way that I can!

It would be a shame to lose the wonderful historical Belle Isle Aquarium.  Aquariums are windows into our soul and are often more popular than zoos.  Perhaps there needs to be a refocused effort as to how to make the aquarium more successful rather than closing it?

Keep the city's historical treasures!

I think the aquarium is an asset to the community, and we should try to save it,  so we can continue to enjoy it.

Beyond everyone's emotional attachments to the Aquarium is the fact that it is an integral part of the fabric of a place on the National Register of Historic Districts, and as such, is integral to making the park as a whole work for visitors. its closure without any vision for alternative use guts the cultural heart of the park and damages it as a whole, far beyond the $ cost of operating the Aquarium itself. An abandoned Aquarium building undermines the pedestrian scale mix of uses that defines the urban experience and distinguishes Belle Isle, but is so rare in Detroit. The lack of vision and planning in this announcement is another gross waste of public assets.

I have visited the Belle Isle Aquarium every year for over 50 years.  It is a wonderful place!

My children, grandchildren and I have all enjoyed the Aquarium and we feel it should not be closed!!!

I go to the aquarium every year on my birthday to see the fish 1st, plants 2nd, and the wildlife 3rd. We will hate to see it go, if it does.

sure, lets get rid of all things great about Detroit,,,,,,,,,,,,NOT !!!

At least we can always come home to be reminded what a RIOT can do after 40yrs"

Closing an aquarium that takes up a mere 500k a year isn't going to solve the city's 300 million dollar deficit. If it were actually true, then the Mayor should not lease a 57 K Navigator for his wife.

I am strongly against closing the aquarium and suggest that perhaps the council should revisit the possibility of charging a fee the enter the island.  The island has been neglected in many  areas. Security, cleanliness of grounds and lack of bathroom facilities are only a few areas of concern.  Lack of enforcement of rules, lack of security, little to no parking enforcement.  The aquarium isn't the main problem.  The operation of the island is the main problem. Sentiment is admirable but the structure and operation of the island must be reviewed.  A good start may be curtailing operational hours and charging a fee to enter.  Rules and enforcement (like state parks) may be a second step.  Setting priorities and security rank highly.  As a resident Detroiter, I would volunteer to help in the planning.  Perhaps a two year trial period to reorganize would suffice.  But closing a aquarium is not the total initial answer.  Restricting unruly visitors and attracting more families would help also. Developing places to dine and get snacks would also be a consideration.  Consider developing a small-non political group of concerned residents the power to implement a plan on a trial basis before taking this action.  

As a former Detroiter and a former teacher in Detroit, I find it heartbreaking to hear of the closing of the Aquarium.  Not only was it always a fun place to visit, it was an educational one as well.  What a loss it will be to the city, its residents, and visitors to Detroit!

Every time the city does something right, it does something wrong, like the sociopath adolescent, who cannot stand too many positives in a row. Obviously, the budget is out of whack, the schools are continuing to fail, and on and on, but the super bowl is not the answer. Who do you know has gotten the urge to vacation in Houston? And who would? The same applies to Detroit. This is not a tourist town, but the good thing is the fact that there are enough people here to support all the activities, festivals, cultural and sports events, so that the tourist dollar is not needed. why not acknowledge this fact and focus on those who live in the region, and I mean region, not selectively by municipality. 

The city's recovery will be made by cultural advancement, quality of life issues, not by splashy tourism dollars. Who travels here to gamble? And who would?"

I am a professional ichthyologist and fish geneticist and in that capacity, as well as a tourist, have visited public aquaria all over the world.  I would rate the Belle Isle aquarium as one of the best I have seen, and I think very highly of the professional acuity and competence of those staff members I have met.  It would be a shame to close this Aquarium down when many of the other ones are simply displays of "charismatic" species with no thought to the biology involved.  This is a truly professional establishment and should be allowed to continue.

What do the authorities think they're doing!!?  You guys don't have enough history to just throw it away like that.  At least give this wonderful old place a chance - advertise - let people know it's there to be visited.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a local, state, regional and national historic treasure. It has been a source of information and a wonderful place to visit for years. I'm not one to stand in the way of "progress" but, as the saying goes - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Same goes for the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. Any money spent should go to improving the surroundings and making these places more of a destination. Of course, since the city of Detroit is financially strapped, monies should be spent on needs - education, transportation, and health services. Where are our priorities?

I applaud your efforts to keep the Aquarium ""afloat"". I won't be able to join the walk, but I am willing to do what I can to support your efforts. Thank you for taking a stand.

Please save this lovely building and the collection it houses. Thank you to FOBIA and friends for providing the means to it.  Please include my name on the petition.

As president of the Hardy Plant Society, I would have an opportunity to present information about the aquarium;  we also have a web site, and contact a lot of individuals by postcard and email

It's a real shame that the city can't manage their money any better, and this will be another site from Belle isle to be closed. If this keeps up greed will cost the city much more! 

I have great memories of my childhood going to the aquarium.  Those were the best field trip days.  Kwame, a little less bling, bling and this beautiful piece of history can last another hundred years!

It is sad that the City of Detroit is not forward thinking enough to keep this Aquarium open.  I am surprised that they have not tried to make it into a semi-self sufficient facility.  With the number of species that this facility has I'd be surprised if it were not possible.

Please! Don't shut it down!

The aquarium is a beautiful hidden gem; I did not know about it until I was about 20.  If only they let the public know about this historic landmark.  I am so sorry that I missed the walkabout but this site didn't come up when I searched "Save the Belle Isle Aquarium". 

Sierra Club member will help.

As a Councilperson for the City of Hamtramck I believe this public resource needs to be kept open. If a local resolution will help please let me know.

The aquarium is a wonderful educational resource. Keep it open

I would like to sign the petition to help keep the aquarium open.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is one of the most important environmental and cultural facilities in the Detroit metropolitan area.  I am indeed shocked to find out that the City -and the Zoological Society- are even considering closing it! 

The Aquarium, and its neighboring facility, the Whitcomb Conservatory, create a complex on Belle Isle that is warm and welcoming in the winter, and cool and inviting in the summer!  Residents and visitors enjoy the facilities and understand more about our biological world because of them.  Belle Isle is a better place because of these facilities! Detroit is a better place because of these facilities. 

I cannot understand the perceived ""savings"" that would take place if the Aquarium were to be closed.  The fish would have to be kept alive regardless of whether the Aquarium is ""open"" or ""closed"".  Moving the fish to another venue would be very costly.  Thus, the  difference in cost for the staff required for entrance, security and  custodial work can not be significant-- and even if it is ""significant"", it's worth it!  

The historical significance of the building is also important.  If I remember correctly, it is the oldest  operating Municipal Aquarium in the country - and its vaulted ceiling and small size make it feel very accessible to kids as well as adults. I have certainly been in many fancier, even more educational aquariums (such as the one in Baltimore), but this has a special feeling that is worth preserving.

I would personally support the construction of a new Aquarium on the riverfront which is built to 21st century educational and conservation standards- and have researched that possibility when I worked on riverfront and recreational planning activities, but until such a new facility is in place (and who knows if/when that will happen, although it has been suggested many times), the Belle Isle Aquarium should stay open! 

There have been many improvements to Belle Isle recently.  There is better signage explaining some of the natural phenomena, the roads are being improved, the Playscape and related places are being improved.  Hopefully, the Nature Center will re-open by next summer.  To make these improvements, and then to close one of the most important facilities on the island makes no sense.


We are losing so many public spaces through neglect and lack of will and money. Detroit and Michigan needs this Aquarium. I visited it often with my parents as a child. Please do not destroy it or Belle Isle with private development.

Closing the aquarium would indeed be a shame.   Don't let this historic piece of history become just a memory. There must be something that can be done.

Please keep me informed of any public actions and/or petitions that I can help with. Thanks for your great website !

Can't imagine how getting rid of the Belle Isle Aquarium would make the City of Detroit better?  What's next?  What will be left in the down town area?  On Belle Isle?  

Don't let Detroit join Cleveland in having the dubious honor of having NO public aquarium! Keep Belle Isle open!

It is the oldest free standing aquarium in the country.  We need to preserve some positive things about the city.

Too lovely to get rid of, great old building, outside and in!

I can remember going there as a child and then later taking my own children.  I was looking forward to taking grandchildren.  Yes I will help.

The Aquarium is one of Detroit's finest institutions -- appreciated by generations. The City needs to stop destroying its heritage.

There's no reason to close the aquarium.  What's next, the flower house?  Dossin museum?  It sounds like plans are to make Belle Isle go the way of Bob-lo and to privatize it for the rich folks of the city to enjoy themselves.  Belle Isle is a public island and is enjoyed by not only the citizens of Detroit, but by suburbanites like myself who work in Detroit and love to park and admire the view, the wildlife, and enjoy the peace that being on the island offers.  Don't let the developers take over and make it only for the rich folks.  It should remain open to the public with attractions to bring us there.  I remember what a treat it was for our elementary school classes to go to Belle Isle on field trips.  And I enjoy going there now just as much as I did as a child.  Please keep the aquarium open, along with the other things that I mentioned earlier.  We already lost the canoeing and horseback riding that used to be there years ago.  Don't take this away from us too!  I'd pay an entrance fee to go onto the island if that would save it from development.  Just don't take the attractions away from the people who love them.

I am not a resident of Detroit, but I visited the aquarium two years ago. While there, my now husband proposed to me. We were hoping to return to the aquarium on our anniversary and it would be a shame to see a place of our shared memories closed down.

I would hate to see another building closed that leaves what little charm is left of Detroit. As a young 20-something from the burbs who is captivated by Detroit history and culture, I am angered that the city government is taking away any promise of turning around our metropolis by denying us education and culture. I pray that this does not happen! Thank you Kwame for destroying our believed city and aquarium!

It would be a shame to have the oldest public aquarium in the country to close over budget cuts.

My experience at the Belle Isle Aquarium started out spending one summer there as a volunteer.  I was a college student looking to go into animal care and thought volunteering would be a great experience.  They next summer I was given the opportunity to be an intern at the aquarium.  It was one of the greatest summers I can recall.  I learned so much from the people there.  Everyday was a new experience.  I am now a zookeeper at a large Midwest zoo, and I attribute this in part to my experiences at the BIA.  I saw how little the aquarium was given to work on, and was amazed at how much they did with what they had.  The stingray breeding programs there, as well as the extensive collection of fresh water fish is extraordinary and irreplaceable.  The city of Detroit is losing a wonderful place, and it is pathetic that they can't see it.  I can only hope that they will open their eyes to the potential this facility has.  It is historical, it is educational, and if properly treated and supported, can be a valuable asset to tourism and education within the city.

I was very upset to hear that Mr. Kagan is trying to close the Belle Isle Aquarium.

although I missed the trip that my club took to the Belle I was quite impressed with what I saw in the photo's they brought back. why anyone would want to close such an amazing place is far beyond me. the Belle has an important place in our society for entertainment and education.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is one of the things that makes Belle Isle and Detroit a great place.  Closing the Aquarium is taking a big step backwards, not forward, in improving Detroit.

I can't tell you the number of relaxing afternoons I've spent enjoying the beautiful views on the island and going to the aquarium and the conservatory.  It doesn't get much better than that in Detroit."

Let's keep the aquarium and lose Kwame.

I have been to the Belle isle Aquarium many times in my life, from childhood to adulthood and I think the aquarium should continue to awe and inspire people for years to come.

Please try to find a way of incorporating this aquarium into a new building.  Build around it: it is a historical building!

We speak of the jewels of Detroit. Instead of closing them, why not polish them and make them shine brighter than ever.

We are trying to get people back downtown...Close the aquarium and we eliminate another reason to head downtown!

A most beautiful building and the tour itself shows what an asset this amazing space is for everyone.

Why is the city of Detroit always having it's significant, historical, educational and environmental resources threatened or destroyed?

Here is another example of a future abandoned building, that shall turn in on itself and fall apart - then people 10 to 15 years from now will try to save it, once it has fallen in disastrously dilapidated condition. 

We must stop the closing of this aquarium NOW, to keep the fish on view, the folks employed and the building itself in solid working condition. 

this aquarium is a facility that is invaluable and irreplaceable. it would be nearly impossible to afford to build such a structure, using the same materials. this era of building will never return to Detroit or anywhere else. capitalize on what is actually open and working, as it represents both the history and future of such a fine city!  we must preserve those sites that are functioning and operational, as we all know restoration of an abandoned structure is a very, very hard sell. 

Why would any administration allow this to occur? 

The aquarium is a working piece of history from a time that has long come to pass in Detroit. 

There is NOTHING else like this unique place and if it goes - there won't ever be an aquarium like it again!

The people must NOT allow this to happen anymore in the city or surrounding areas of Detroit.


I think that the aquarium should stay personally. My son and I go down there at least 3 times a year and it's the greatest thing for him to see that.  I have been going there for over 20 years.  It's a historical building and has a history as everyone knows for being the oldest aquarium out there.  I think that even with adding 2-3 dollars to the admission price would help things and maybe do some more advertising or something but the aquarium needs to stay.  Unless the man that runs the show for the zoo needs to set up more buildings that are totally useless at the Detroit zoo like the new convention center instead of using the space for animals that attract people to a zoo.  I know that's why I go to the zoo is to see animals not fancy buildings that serve no purpose to the zoo visitors.  Maybe even set up a booth for people to get onto the island they could pay some type of admission.  I have been out there at night and seen all kinds of people just hangin out, sure then the city has to use there money to clean up all the trash the people leave behind, charge the people a couple dollars or something.  Why don't they just submerge the island if the aquarium closes the zoo is gone, no aquarium why would people have a reason to go there anymore?

I believe that it is a total disgrace to close the Belle Isle Aquarium and I would like to help support you in any area that's needed.

I do not want to see the oldest public aquarium in the United States get shut down for "financial reasons" only to have a new bigger better one built on the riverfront.  How is that saving money? The math doesn't make sense to me.   Not to mention the LOSS of a historic site!  Does Kagan and the city really think that a new aquarium won't turn into a money pit as well within a few years?

I enjoy visiting the Aquarium with my young son every couple of months, and I really detest the thought of it closing for good. 

I got my interest is the hobby of fish keeping at the Belle Isle Aquarium. I remember going with my grandparents every month for as long as I remember. Today I now work at Oceans and Seas a pet store that focuses on fish keeping as a hobby. I feel the Aquarium gave me the knowledge I now use everyday at work. Many of the customers I talk to are very upset about the closing. My fellow employee's and I are planning on starting a petition. Let's hope FOBIA and others can keep the oldest public aquarium in the US alive.

Please keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open, we can't afford to lose any more historic Detroit places!

I have just been made aware that they considering closing the Belle Island Aquarium. That would be such a disservice to Detroit and the surrounding areas to close such a beautiful facility for families to enjoy through the year.  I have lived in Detroit all my life and I am 75 this year and have such fond memories of when I went with my family of three children and when I went as a sponsor on field trips from their schools.

Please reconsider and do not close the aquarium.  Possible alternative would be to shorten hours of operation which would save some tax money.

We have beautiful facilities in Detroit proper that we should not take the opportunity away from our families.


Please keep the aquarium open.

The Detroit Aquarium and botanical garden constitute one of the city's best kept secrets (probably a bad thing) and most impressive jewels (definitely a good thing).  I live in the suburbs but visit the aquarium at least two or three times every winter.  It is a romantic place steeped in history, architecture and beauty.  If either of these places ever closes, it will surely be a sad and embarrassing day in Detroit.  Is profit the only thing that matters?  How can sooo much money be spent on sports stadiums, car shows, casinos and the Zoo proper, yet such quiet beauty go unnoticed?  ADVERTISE!  KEEP THEM OPEN!  ALLOW THE FUNDING!  MAKE THE COMMITMENT!!

I have been going there as a kid and have loved to watch the feeding of the eels!  We take our twin sons there almost every Friday afternoon, to experience what we did when we were kids.

This is one of the few remaining jewels in Detroit.  It is the most child-friendly aquarium in the country.  The clean up of Detroit should radiate from here.

Can't we use the funding for the new Bell Isle Nature Zoo (that doesn't even exist yet) to keep historic and treasured Bell Isle Aquarium open!

I was born in 1972 in Detroit, Michigan. My father would always take my brother and I to Belle Isle to see everything that little island had to offer. I am now 33, and live in Southern California. Every visit I make back to Detroit, I make sure I take a drive around the island. Please keep it open.


I would like to sign the petition.  My children and I visited the Aquarium on the 22nd and would have come to the protest, if we had known about it.  It should be added onto, not closed.

I can't believe they want to close the aquarium!!! I love that place! I went there as a kid with my grandparents and I remember thinking how cool that place was. I totally support your effort to keep the aquarium open. I play drums and percussion for several bands around Detroit and would be interested in helping put together a fundraiser/awareness show! Give me a holler and I can help put the word out in the music community, especially the blues scene.

let's keep this beauty open.  we go at least once a month.  don't ruin another historical landmark of Detroit.

I have been visiting the aquarium for 35 years and wish that certain people would realize what Detroit is instead of constantly trying to reinvent it.  The Belle Isle Aquarium is an essential part of the island and the city.  What can I do?

The aquarium is an amazing gem of Detroit, that should remain and be well-maintained. (The Belle Isle zoo too, and for that matter ALL of Belle Isle!)

I am not a citizen of your city. My connection to your city is one of childhood memories visiting my  Grandfather in Detroit. The Belle Isle Aquarium is part of those memories. Over the last few years I have made the 4.5 hour drive on more than one occasion to your city. Every time I do I have the desire and impulse to stop at the aquarium. And, often I act on that impulse. Tonight I learned of the plan to close the aquarium. On-line I discovered a group fighting the decision. I hope that they are successful.

If your city were to build a new aquarium my urge upon visiting would simply be to visit both aquariums.

During my childhood (80's) there was an incident in which vandals broke into the aquarium and did great damage. I recall my grandparents and other adults discussing it as an outrage. It seems there was an outcry of support. Where is that outrage now? My Grandparents' generation is smaller with each day. And the work of their grandparents is your aquarium. This is your history. Washington D.C. claims to have the oldest aquarium in America. They can't even land a ML baseball team! How can you let them steal your claim to fame in realm of aquatics? Don't lose the aquarium and its history. If you do you will lose a landmark in your city. I'm sure others feel as I do. You may not fully know the damage done for years to come.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a true gem in the city of Detroit.  As a Southfield resident I have taken all of my children and several school classes to visit the Aquarium over a period of 30 years.  Please DO NOT take this special place away from the people of Detroit!!!

101 years!  I grew up with those fish. I support to keep it open!

This aquarium has been around too long and enjoyed by too many to just close it's doors. Please keep this historic landmark open for all to enjoy!

keep the aquarium open!  Detroit needs it!

I am a native Detroiter now living in San Francisco.  I have fond memories of my childhood on Belle Isle.  When visiting last year, I took my kids to the Aquarium.  We were most impressed.  You have gems in the Belle Isle Aquarium and the Conservatory of Flowers.  They could be used as a means of attracting tourists.  Let's not allow them to be closed. In many ways, they are nicer than the Aquarium and Conservatory here in San Francisco which attracts thousands of tourists a year.

save the aquarium open.

Canadian Aquaria Enthusiast..deeply saddened by such an ill thought out choice but it seems that money for the top feeders in City Hall and those that can help achieve their goals is what counts most....we have visited many times over years and will miss this very much....if something is not done STAND UP DETROITERS BE HEARD BEFORE ITS TOO LATE WHAT'S NEXT ....

Once they close the doors it will only be a matter of time before it looks like the Bell Isle stables, or MCS for that matter... this is truly a disgrace... I mean they could have one fund raiser and bring in enough money to save it for a couple years, do what they did for the Motown winter blast, get people down there... |

And all the musical artists who sit around and claim Detroit as their home and how it gave them the inspiration to be where they are today, can we appeal to them for help? Maybe they would be willing to give something back.

With all the building and renovations going on downtown, why wouldn't somebody put money in to Detroit's ""jewel on the river""? I don't get it? |

If the city is coming back to life why not keep the most beautiful park and its facilities open?

I will help in anyway I am able to.

I am writing you this letter to respectfully request that you reconsider the decision made by the Detroit Zoo to close the Belle Isle Aquarium.  

Having lived in Cleveland for my whole life, I have seen how a city can go from the butt of the country's jokes, to a prospering community with real promise, and back down again to other poorest city in America.  As a result of this, one thing that I have seen in Cleveland is a lack of emphasis on culture and the arts.  Then again, this is understandable since even our education system is in serious trouble.  The lack of importance on these cultural institutions is a problem that is becoming more and more common around our country.  Much of it has to do with our hectic life style and the importance of computers in our lives, and although there are advantages to this life style, I am afraid that my generation, and especially successive generations, are going to loose the wonderful benefits that our cultural institutions bring.  

In 1986, Cleveland lost a great cultural institution in The Cleveland Aquarium.  To this day, I am asked all the time when a new aquarium will be built.  Everyone has fond memories of going to the aquarium as a kid and seeing fascinating creatures that they did not even know existed.  In today's age, aquariums have changed their approach from 'wowing' people with unique animals and displays to educating them about the uniqueness and importance of not only the animals displayed, but the complex habitats that they live in.   Most importantly, aquariums strive to show how our daily lives weave seamlessly into the lives of aquatic animals. This message becomes more and more important as the days tick by due to our incredibly destructive living practices.  Loosing any institutions that portray this message, especially one that has such an incredible and important history rooted in your city, is not just sad, but frankly is irresponsible of us in my opinion.  

I am sure that simply looking at the revenue numbers of the aquarium makes a compelling case to close the aquarium.  I would like to caution you to look beyond the numbers.  Please understand that in the zoo world, there is a hierarchy when it comes to the importance of animals in a collection.  The 'warm and fuzzies' are almost always get the 'lions share' of the resources since most zoo management is of this background.  Since relating to aquatic animals are obviously much more difficult for us as humans than relating to much more familiar mammals and birds, it is only natural for zoo managers to place the importance of their resources in this direction.  But it is important to understand that a lack of understanding does not make for a lack of importance.  This is the very reason why independent aquariums of the world are so successful.  My simple point is that don't be fooled by the numbers.  In this case, they don't tell the whole picture.  

I have visited the Belle Isle Aquarium on several occasions; by myself, and along with other Cleveland residents during field trips.  We are all sad to hear the news that the aquarium is closing.  Although times may be difficult at the current moment, I strongly urge you to not take the easy way out and instead look at the big picture.  I also encourage you to realize the importance of this fine and historic cultural institution- and to push for its renaissance.  I know that I speak for many people when I say that it would be a shame to see such a historic cultural institution lost to future generations.  This decision does not bode well for your city.  I hope that you will support the rejuvenation of such a historic and important institution. 

The Aquarium is one of Detroit's Jewels. It would be a sin to close it.

I don't know if my first complaint went through, so I will sum up my thoughts just in case:

I feel that this is an outrage, that building is not only a Detroit landmark but a Historical attraction for the whole USA, I do not agree with it being closed and something needs to be done, instead of building new parking garages they need to save this treasure.

This situation really sickens me, that is a hundred year old building and it deserves respect.

I will do everything I can to help in this fight, 

An after thought why not appeal to some of the famous people who claim their talents had a lot to do with where they grew up... right here... many of these people have so much to say about Detroit in their music or acting, maybe they would be willing to help save one of our most treasured historical attractions, like Eminem, Kid Rock, ICP, Newgent, Segar, Ross, or one of the others like Tim Alan, with so many famous people who grew up here and are still in the area maybe we can get support from them... (just a thought)

I think it would be a disgrace if that building closes, I am saddened and disgusted, with all the renovations and redevelopment going on downtown they should be putting some money in to our "jewel on the river"... 

Has anyone appealed directly to the Mayor? Go to the top!  At least we should send him an email...

Good luck to you guys, Keep up the hard work. 

It's a shame that Dir. Ron Kagan would even think of closing the Belle Isle Aquarium an historic landmark.   

Zoo Director Ron Kagan should be FIRED for his continual neglect of Belle Isle Aquarium, a historic landmark.

Now, he talks of a new Aquarium on the riverfront.  How can he run this, if he can't run Belle Isle Aquarium properly.  

It would be a terrible loss to the hobbyist to lose such a treasure.

I would like to help keep the Aquarium open! Please contact me! I grew up in Detroit and have been going there since I was a child. My parents went there when they were young we cannot let it close.

This place has been through the city's most harrowing hours, including The Great Depression.  I am not convinced every alternative to closing the aquarium has been explored.  How about raising the cost of admission?  Selling the aquarium as a private business?  To allow this place to close would only create more scar tissue to expedite the death of a great city.  No matter how large the riverfront aquarium gets, it will never replace or match this jewel.

We visited the Aquarium during the summer.  We had driven by Belle Isle to go to a lunch after a memorial service.  My husband mentioned that he had never been to Belle Isle.  So, afterwards we did a tour of Belle Isle and visited the Aquarium and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  Both need to be marketed as great local attractions.  

The Detroit Zoo is running the aquarium and claims that they don't have enough money to keep it open.



Do not close the aquarium, please.

I share your concerns.  Please keep me posted.  

You CAN'T close the aquarium!!!  I love it there.  don't do it.

What's next!  Belle Isle has long been a neglected gem in this city.  First the zoo now the aquarium.  What are we making room for, another casino!  The city seems to have forgotten families and family values in its search for glitz and glamour.

I do not want to see the aquarium close.  Please let me know if I can offer any help in the upcoming weeks.

I am very sad to this news.  I really don't have much money to donate.  Let me know what else can be done to save the aquarium.

TRAVESTY!! What's the next step? Has it been classified as Historical Landmark?

I will be so upset if the Bell Isle Aquarium closes...

It is a good Aquarium, it must be preserved.

the closing of such a valuable resource would bring a tear to Mother Nature's eye.

Such a shame and terrible waste.  When we come in to Detroit and have time for a little touristy activities, we head to Belle Isle and always make time to stop at the Aquarium.

As a longtime Aquarium hobbyist, I feel the generation to come, must have a chance to visit this aquarium and learn about our water friends.

Please reconsider keeping this fine establishment open for our children and grandchildren.

Thank You for listening."

This has been a wonderful haven for learning and enjoying the peace and tranquility of our water environment. I visit whenever I travel to Detroit.  Please don't close it. I have years of enjoyment with my children and grandchildren. How can we keep it open?

Preserve a piece of nature for the future.

I've been going to the Belle Isle Aquarium since I was a little boy. It is hard to imagine a city so confused that it would even think of removing this wonderful example of aquatic art. If anything, they should be thinking about expanding or at least renovating this wonderful place. I recently became a new father, and I can't imagine explaining to my daughter why Detroit doesn't have an aquarium. Let's fight for the fish!!!!

I am the Founder and Chairman of the Aquarium Hobby Historical Society. The closing of the Belle Isle Aquarium is a travesty. This is a unique one-of-a-kind jewel and historical in terms of public aquariums. It's low attendance has been due to a concerted campaign to not advertise the establishment and upgrade exhibits - creating a self-fulfilling prophecy so to speak.

Please save this historic and beautiful site that is important for the public, architecture, and history.

I do not live in Detroit, and have never visited the Belle Isle Aquarium, so then what does it matter to me?  Public aquariums were built in the past, Bell Isle being the oldest, and are still being built in the present, out of a need for the public to see fish and other animals in an up-close, educational and scientific venue.  What are we teaching the children of our communities when we decide to shut down educational and cultural resources?  The successful closing of this aquarium will always be a black-eye on the city administration, with all current staff attached to its decision.  I am sure that the city residents would rather not have another abandoned building or property, or see its land converted over to another strip mall.  Wake-up and look at the big picture.  My interest is in fish and all things natural, and should I ever travel through Detroit, I would make it a point to stop at the aquarium (and the local shops, restaurants, etc).  Now I am guessing I'll just breeze right through without stopping, now nobody benefits.  Remember, community means all, once it starts to fragment it falls apart rapidly, with little chance of a return.  Please reconsider the decision to close this aquarium, the children of the fine city of Detroit need it, the visitors to the city need it, the employees of the aquarium need it, America needs it, bust most of all DETROIT needs it.  Don't let it go.

Lived in Detroit for many years. Left about six years ago -- this is yet another sign I made the right decision. I guess a $25000 navigator is more important.

Let's take our kids and grandkids to aquariums rather than let them sit at home killing video game characters - save the aquarium!

I hate to see the aquarium close.  Our family has always visited the aquarium and found it CLEAN, AND WELL Maintained. I feel it would mean the demise of Belle Isle. I would be interested in volunteering to help in this matter.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is off great historic significance. It should be considered a treasure and preserved at any cost. In addition to this it has made great contributions in the preservation of many species of endangered fishes.

It is unacceptable to consider closing the Belle Isle Aquarium. It is a landmark and invaluable resource for educational and preservation purposes.

The aquarium is an important resource for the community.  the public will miss this.

Do not close this monument. Re evaluate the constant mis spending of Detroit tax payer money and save this building. any chance of operating the aquarium like the Cuomo zoo in St.Paul, Minnesota is run? It is a mostly volunteer staff, and donations help  pay for all zoo costs. 

I think it is sad that when it comes to  saving money it is at the expense of the arts and wildlife.  Aquariums are treasures for our children and all to enjoy  as well as knowledge.  I am sure if you look deep , you can find a way to maintain this treasured asset to your city

The aquarium is a national treasure and should remain open for generations to admire!

Let me know how I can help.

I used to go as a kid, haven't been in a long while, but would really hate to see it go.  

The aquarium is a wonderful place to go to while at Belle Isle. It's also educational. We have the casino's..why not keep the aquarium for adults as well as for the children.

A short story: This summer I was entertaining someone from the western half of Michigan who had only been to the city a few times and had a lot of the common misconceptions of Detroit. After taking her to Belle Isle and specifically the Aquarium and the Conservatory she told me "She didn't know places like (the aquarium) existed in Detroit."

I think it is a shame that such a wonderful resource will be closed.  Please let me know the progress of "the fight" and if I can contribute in any way.

Closing the Aquarium would be a tragedy - it is an important part of Belle Isle and a significant place of interest as a visitor attraction.  Detroit definitely needs serious budget cuts, but not to important parts of our history and culture.

You can't close the only Public Aquarium we have in the City of Detroit!!!!

This is great.  I hope that you accomplish your goal of the aquarium not being closed.  We need to keep it open because of the history and the adventure that it can bring to families in Detroit as well as visitors to Detroit.  Everyone does not have a desire to go to Campus Martius.

My grandparents took me to the aquarium when I was growing up.  I enjoy taking my children to the aquarium.  It's a great part of Detroit History.  We could refurbish and build Campus Martius, why can't we keep an important part of our history?  We refurbished the People Mover, let's not forget the aquarium.

It saddens me to here of the decision to close the Belle Isle Aquarium. Isn't there some Historical Preservation law that might save that beautiful place?

To Whom It May Concern:
In light of the recent situations that have occurred in the city of Detroit (I'm thinking of red, specialized cars here) I believe that the Mayor could find a more productive way to save money than take away a very important, educational piece of history from the people and ESPECIALLY the children of not only Detroit but other areas.  I  grew up, not only in Detroit, (Del Ray area, SW) but also the surrounding areas, and have proudly taken my own children to visit the wonderful aquarium.  To shut it down would be a true shame.

My daughter should have the ability to grow up and enjoy this wonderful facility.

The world of computers and computer games is taking over our lives and more importantly, the lives of our children.  With places like the aquarium closing, it sends a subtle message that these places are not valuable to our lives and encourages our society to continue the trend of socializing and learning only through the computer and the television.  What can concerned aquarium clubs do to help the Belle Isle Aquarium sustain itself?

Why should the people who support the Aquarium have to suffer the loss due to the inadequate way that the city manages its money.  

As a 100% pure bred Detroit. I am totally AGAINST the closing. I grew up in Detroit, living near I75 and Clark street from the day I was born in 1979 threw 2000. I am SICK AND TIRED of these LOSER Mayors who think they can use the city tax money to by Navigators for there wives, give cars to top officials - who already make good money. They should buy their own cars. I work for Ford, you don't see ford giving employees cars/trucks to drive. I used to visit the Aquarium all the time when I was a child. I will do anything to help stop the closing of this Aquarium. I would hate to see something from my childhood close because of a Mayor who can not control funds. I went there when I was a kid, and I would like to pass that on to my daughter. When I heard about this, I was VERY ANGRY. WHAT IS THIS CITY COMING TO? I am all for helping this effort.

Keep that BEAUTIFUL Aquarium open,  

First the B I Zoo, now the aquarium? What's next? 

Detroit has already lost so much of it's culture.  Don't take the aquarium!

My family has been going to the aquarium every thanksgiving since I was born, 23 years ago.  It is a family tradition that cannot die.  My aunt died this past October and we cannot let another tradition go with her.

It is truly a sad day when they will close public educations centers, such as this.  It would be wiser to attempt to link it with a college or university who may be able to better use the resource and keep it open.  It could be used to educate people about the Great Lakes Ecosystems and serve as a base for graduate study.  The grant money for the research would also help keep the aquarium open.

I love Belle Isle and would like to see more activities, like skating (Ice & Roller), Ideal for a outdoor movie theater and other family/revenue generating activities (pony rides again) who could resist a safe, clean and beautiful place that you could take your family (security cameras around the Isle would make families feel safer and more visible police. What can I DO???????

I used to go their in the 70's, please let's keep this wonderful Aquarium open, will be going again this weekend.


Let's do whatever is possible to save this facility and its exhibits.


I think this is getting out of hand. I think the city of Detroit would gain millions of dollars by closing down the mayors admin. and letting the state take control of the city. Or hire an accredited financial adviser to run the city. As far as Belle Isle I think the Metro Parks System should take control over the Island. I believe the city was against it but, what's the difference their shutting everything down anyway. I wouldn't have any problem paying for a pass to get on the Island. 

Keep it open.  When the city closes its 40 schools all the kids looking for somewhere to go other than their overcrowded classrooms will need somewhere educational to go.  And Campus Martius isn't it.  

Is there a fund set up? If so what and where for the checks?

I have been going to the Belle Isle Aquarium since I was 3 years old! I went last year for the first time in years and all those childhood memories came back to me. The awe I felt as a child to see these massive creatures submerged in water. The Belle Isle Aquarium is a beautiful and important Historical structure in Detroit and holds a lot of wonderful memories for a lot of people, myself included. Please e-mail me and provide more information on what I can do to help keep this wonderful place open for more children to enjoy.

Please keep this landmark open! I went as a child and hope to take my child to this wonderful exhibit!

I think that the Belle Isle Aquarium is too valuable a resource to the community to be shut down if not by virtue of it's age and condition alone. I know the city is trying to cut costs, but I don't think this should be one of them.

This aquarium is a landmark that needs to be open and restored.  Also we need to publicize it's existence.  I'm sure there are lots of people in the metro area that didn't know it even existed.

I realize that Detroit is in a budget crisis, but turning our backs on one of the VERY FEW pieces of culture in this city is not the answer.  What does Detroit have to offer the area, beyond crime, abandoned buildings and horrible roads?  I say fire the major and shine the few jewels the city has to offer - the only answer to the current crisis is to get people back into the city, not give them even more reason not to come.

This place has been a peaceful place for my family to visit for generations. I will love for it to stay as, I would love to continue to share it with my daughter and future generations. There are groups out there that want to keep Detroit a "happening" place? They want families to come to the city and spend time here? Where are we taking our kids? Hmmm, to the Hard Rock? DIA? Comerica Park? I would have no reason to come to Detroit if the Aquarium closes. I am sure that there are other ways to make up the money needed in Detroit. Why take our favorite destination away? Ever think about expanding? Be bigger and better like the Shedd in Chicago? If Detroit wants to be a big destination spot like Chicago, then it would make a stupid choice by closing the Belle Isle Aquarium. Taking the Aquarium away takes history and memories from our kids & future voters. I love the Aquarium. I will hate to see Detroit close it's doors.  



The Aquarium, along with the Conservatory, is one of those jewels that make Belle Isle a destination. Without it, the island is just another park on the river

This aquarium is one of the very few  attractions in Detroit (notice I didn't say "Detroit Area") that out-of-town visitors are interested in because of its unique historic charm. It is a one of a kind facility and it would be a crime to close it. 

We were hoping to visit the Detroit area this summer. The Belle Isle Aquarium, which I have heard a lot of from aquarists (not much in the tourists ads though) was especially on our agenda. We're really dismayed to hear of it's closing. Perhaps we will visit one of the other great cities with a legendary aquarium.

The closing of landmark buildings like this is the very reason why Detroit is in the shape it is in.   

Once again shows the need for a Belle Isle Park fee.  So that treasures like the Aquarium can be maintained.

Please do not do this. I have taken my 12 year old son a few times from Cleveland, Ohio. This is a beautiful facility and would be a shame to lose something so beautiful and intimate.

I believe that aquarium should remain open. all of our city's landmarks are being done away with. I think all this money being spent to build new things should be used to renovate the bldgs. & homes that need repair. So much money is being wasted. especially now that we have three casinos that 


This is a landmark and a wonderful place to visit.  There must be other ways to cut funding, besides taking away a cultural icon like the Aquarium. 

It would be a shame to see the aquarium close. I am a 33 yr old mother of 3 who lives in Royal Oak Michigan.  My children and I have enjoyed the aquarium for years.  It would seem we should be able to claim it as a historical aquarium due to it's age and find some funding to keep it open. TO see children's faces when they see the Electric Eel is the best.  

I am interesting in learning what role I can play in saving the historical Aquarium.  I grew up in Detroit and have the aquarium many times.  It saddens me to think a part of history could swept away.  

Paul and I wish to sign the petition.

We had been residing in Harper Woods until October 2004.  We now live in Hillmam, MI. We will be attending the ""Shiver on the River"" this coming Saturday! See you all then."

Keep open the aquarium. Don't close the doors

Please keep the aquarium open.  It is one of most beautiful attractions in the city.  I enjoy visiting it when I come to Detroit.  It would be a great loss to a city that seems to be regaining it's natural beauty.  Thank you - S James, Washington, DC

Save this place and we love to look around there every years with children and they love to learn about Aquarium ,, Please don't close down,,,

Please keep the Aquarium open!!! 

There are very few things left on Belle Isle that can attract people to bring their families and children but one of those things was the Belle Isle Aquarium.  I have continuously gone with my fiancÚ and step daughter and enjoyed the facility and the history that surrounds it.  Closing down this historic site will give me one less reason to visit Belle Isle.

I think the city should do everything possible to keep the aquarium open. Detroit needs as much culture as it can get. I think the city should consider the cutting the mayors salary or not sending police cadets back to the academy after graduation before closing down historic landmarks! 

I lived in Detroit for 25 years and I have great memories of Belle Isle and it's aquarium. It was place you could go to get away from the city life, to view nature and animal life, without traveling miles to the suburbs at a great expense. If the people of the city can't pull it's finances together, then what's next, close Belle Isle. The city could charge a small toll fee per car to cover these expenses. Or try some new fund raising efforts. The people of New York would never let this happen to Central Park!  

This is an extremely valuable landmark, which should not only remain open, but become more of a priority and assist in the "rebirth" of our beloved city!  While budgetary issues are naturally important, the City has worked so hard to turn its image around, it would be a definite set-back in this revitalization effort, if we close the Aquarium.

What can I do to help???

This place puts a smile on disabled children's faces. I am signing in to fight.

Please send me ANY information with regards to a petition to sign.  I will forward to any and all on my email listing.

I LOVE the aquarium and was planning on taking my kids there one day.  If those in charge continue to close or neglect all the historic buildings in Detroit - they should also start to consider renaming the city.  The places in Detroit where I had some of my best childhood memories are disappearing fast!

Being the oldest in N. America should count for something.  Can't federal $$ be found to assist??

The 101-year-old Belle Isle Aquarium is North America's oldest, continuously operating public aquarium. How can we allow another yet another abandoned building to be added to Detroit's landscape? Perhaps it is easier to allow in this instance because the aquarium isn't located next to Ford Field or Comerica Park.

Our office just moved and our phone lines are temperamental--email or a phone call next week would be best. Thank you!

When I was a small girl my father would take me to the aquarium in the winter months. I have many fond memories of walking around pointing at fish and making up names with my dad. Now I'm 22 and a mother of my own little girl. At 9 months she's too young to create the memories that I have stored in my mind and more importantly in my heart. Her father is marginally involved and my daddy is the only man she knows as "DaDa". He was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer of the prostate. I can not express how angry I am that there are memories and experiences that I can not show my little girl because the city does not treasure gems like the Belle Isle Aquarium. The number of places there are in the city of Detroit is small, and it gets smaller every year. Now I understand why people are moving out in droves. I want to help in any way I can to save this city from itself for the next generation. If we don't start now, there won't be anything left to save. 

Over forty years ago, my Father and Mother first took me to the Belle Isle Aquarium. I was to learn that this visit was part of a ritual that included a drive around the island with a light history lecture from Dad during visits to the Conservatory, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the Belle Isle Zoo which happened around four times a year. This was juxtaposed by quarterly visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Detroit Historical Museum. What I'm trying to say is that my Dad and Mom were interested in the history and culture of Detroit (having lived there since forever) and that, about eight times a year, they took me to places that would teach me a little of what they'd learned. Now I am grown, with a family of my own. Where do my wife and I take my daughter when we wish to give her a whiff of Detroit? Well, somewhat less often than when I was young (since we both work and are on different shifts),  we do these same things. We make a day of it, twice or three times a year, to go see these charming and comfortable things that tell us that the city is not just a set of statistics, but a place where good people live and teach their children. When our friends come in from out of town, we take them to Belle Isle. The very title of the place translates into "beautiful island" from the French. We should all love it for its charm, its culture, its place in history. It should remain an enhancement... a spice in the variety that is Detroit.

Detroit seems hell-bent on destroying its' past.  They spring these announcements on us, allowing little time for organized resistance to form.  Can we get a court injunction against the closure, giving us time to start a petition to put this issue on the next ballot or referendum?  I will put all of my energy into anything that seems promising.

My wife and I would like to help in your efforts to keep the Aquarium open, please let us know how we can help. 

I find it disgusting that in a city like Detroit, where so many things are corrupt and where they are "trying" to change their image, that one of the only remaining quality attractions in the city is facing closure due to misappropriation of funds and attentions! I sincerely hope and pray that you succeed!!!


Detroit MUST keep open the 101-year old Aquarium. Many cities would lust after such a resource, and closing it will only further tarnish Detroit's reputation. Surely some of the casino taxes can be used to maintain an asset that all metro Detroiters might enjoy.

a very interesting and educational place to visit. I have very good memories of my visits there as a child with my family.  I hope they decide to keep it open.

It is such a shame to close this historical landmark.  Something like this should be open for so many more years.  There are many other ways to cut back on the budget. Keep it open!!! 

I may live in Lansing but if there is something that I can do please let me know!

The aquarium is a part of my childhood that I don't want to see go away like the Belle Isle Zoo did that's a shame.

I think that closing the aquarium is going to be the biggest mistake the city of Detroit will ever make.  Hopefully we as a community can do something to stop this from happening

I have visited the aquarium many times as a child and planned on being able to do the same with my children. The city of Detroit seems to lack the ability to preserve and maintain historic landmarks like the Aquarium. The 100 year old site should not be the first thing we tear down, it should be one of the last. Does anyone have any pride for this city and when it used to be a beautiful safe place to visit. My family has lived here for more than 100 years and I remember stories of beautiful weekends in Detroit and Belle isle, not the crime ridden place it is today. Lets preserve this heritage for our children so these memories can be passed through generations.

I am not even from Michigan but felt that I had to sign this petition. It is heartbreaking to hear that some want to close this Aquarium.  I am the mother of four children and we love to travel around going to different zoos and Aquariums, the provide educational entertainment not only to children but adults as well.  I really hope that the city decides different and keeps this aquarium open.  

Dear Sir's.

                 I have heard that you are thinking of robbing this planet of one it's jewels by closing the Belle Isle Aquarium. Please may I say that if you do, you will taking away one of America's and this worlds few remaining places were man has and is helping to make amends for his mistakes. The work that they are doing is priceless, and believe you me I know what I am talking about. It was the people who have and are working there that gave me the inspiration almost a decade ago to start the ""Fish Ark Project"" in the University of Morelia Mexico. Also over the years they have contributed greatly in the prevention of the extinctions of many species. ""Skiffia francsae"" just to name one for example owes it's continuing existence on this planet solely to the likes of James Langhammer, Doug Sweet, and the good management of the  Belle Isle Aquarium. So please PLEASE don't rob this planet of one of it's few havens of Conservation, as we need more Not less places like this.


Ivan H Dibble.

The Fish Tank

11 strode rd


North Somerset

BS21 6QB


Tel No:- other Countries(44) for UK 1275 876666

Tel :- Within the UK 01275 876666

Mobile No 07729119441

Hobbyist Aqua Lab Conservation Project (HALCP)

Interested in Mexican Freshwater Fish or

Conservation. Then why not visit our web site

at:- http://home.clara.net/brachydibble or 

e-mail to:- ivandibble@blueyonder.co.uk


The Aquarium is a Detroit landmark.  Let's do everything possible to keep it open.

I'm sure people have already looked into it, but perhaps getting local bands to get involved would help.  That and maybe getting sponsorship from some of the major Detroit businesses...


I have been taking photos of Belle Isle for years and came up with a way to raise funds for the Aquarium.

I suggest a coffee table style photo book of the Aquarium, mixing contemporary photos with historical pictures and documents. I will donate my photography and pre-press work on the book, and will see what I can do to arrange for the donation of the printing and paper. I have been working in the print industry around Detroit for 17 years, and will do what I can to help out.

Thank you for your time.

Isn't anything sacred? And while we're at it, can we free the imprisoned deer, too?

I was saddened to hear of the closing of the aquarium. My family and I have been visiting for the past 10 years or so. The kids always enjoy it as well as my husband and I. We visited last weekend for one last look. I took my video camera and took some lasting shots. I hope it can be saved. It's a tragedy to see such gems close down. Perhaps if it had more salt water fish it would become a bigger draw. Also, Belle Isle's reputation has to improve. I was mortified last fall to walk past a restroom to see and smell the awful stench of human feces and urine on the ground behind the building. Maybe Belle Isle needs to become private park. A sort of attraction. As of now it belongs to nobody. Anyway, Good Luck 

Instead of closing this gem, the powers that be should be cutting costs in other areas....eliminating fancy vehicles for city officials...they can do just fine with more basic transportation.  Why not have a big auction, with Detroit businesses donating items to be auctioned off?  Lots of fun and could bring in a LOT of money if higher price items are donated.  What about a telethon?  There must be SOME way to keep it open! I don't live in Michigan any more, but have been to the aquarium many times.  It MUST stay open!  What about a "penny drive" in the public schools?  Kids would bring in pennies and other change to help keep it open.  I'm wracking my brain for other ideas.  Good luck!

I have taken my family to the aquarium many times over the last few years. It is a shame that poor planning on the city of Detroit's part causes budget cuts that will affect the people of Detroit and the suburbs. By making these cuts I, my family and millions of other people will not be able to enjoy the great atmosphere of the Belle Isle Aquarium. Now I will have to take my family to Chicago to enjoy this type of atmosphere. Let me just say what an injustice the city would be making by closing the aquarium.

I grew up in Michigan and visited the Belle Isle Aquarium as a child.  I remember to this day the wonder and amazement I experienced.  I now live in Alaska always near the ocean.  I am a teacher and always share the wonders of the sea with my students, maybe inspired originally by my visit to your aquarium those many years ago there in a place far away from the ocean.  

Keep the aquarium open! It is an asset to the community and a haven for the fish. 

I cannot understand why human kind is only focus on productivity.

QUALITY, should be the motivation of all. Overall as we know now that we are all on the wrong way of development.

Places like the Belle isle aquarium will became in a really near future the ultimate relicts of a lost world...

Please, kept this in mind.

Dr. Alain Grioche

Marine Biologist.

I remember the Aquarium being a fun place to go as a child please do not close it.

How can the authorities be considering the closure of Belle Isle Aquarium ???  

Unbelievable !!

The combination of Belle Isle's long history with the important conservation work that the Aquarium is doing today makes it imperative that this Aquarium remains open and is supported in it's efforts.

Detroit can ill afford to throw away its cultural icons.

I have visited the Aquarium since I was a small child and hoped to take my own children there one day.  You cannot close this part of HISTORY!

Count me in.  I'm a life long Detroiter, and I'm disgusted.

How can my family and I help?

(former City Manager, current Business Owner/Educator/Dad)"

I grew up in Warren and Roseville Michigan until I was 17. My dad took me and our family to the aquarium at least 3 times a year. Even though I have not lived in Michigan for 25 years the last two times I come to Michigan to visit I went to Belle Isle to visit the aquarium. This has been an icon all my life and to the city of Detroit. I'll continue to follow the news to see what unfolds on this issue.

How many more land marks are we going to close in this city.  Don't you think people who are coming to the superbowl next year would have loved to see our aquarium.  I know when I go out of state I go to what ever city I'm in, their aquarium.  We have torn down so many old places, let's not do it with this.  Once we close it we might as well tear it down because it will become vandalized.

Keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open, this has been a landmark/memory in 'my life' since I was two/three years old and should remain for future generations to enjoy.

I cannot believe a city under pressure for some cosmetic change would shut down a historical gem like the aquarium. Its one of the oldest remaining pieces of Detroit's history, due to poor management by the city. This is a joke. The mayor just spent one-twentieth of what it would cost to operate the aquarium. That's enough to keep it open for almost two months. What is the city thinking?! We need all the beauty we can get before the superbowl; this is one of few shining example of Detroit's beauty that hasn't been destroyed yet by vandals, and we're going to shut it down.

Please don't touch the aquarium

I believe it is absolutely essential to keep attractions, like the aquarium, open in Detroit.  Without attractions to draw people into Detroit, and give Detroiter a sense of pride the city will die.

I have been going to the aquarium since I was a little kid and have taken my son there also, I think it's terrible that it's going to be closed. It's one of the best things that Detroit has.

I am willing to help save our Belle Isle


I enjoyed the Aquarium as a child and I have taken my Godchildren, nieces, and nephews there.  It is a true treasure. 

I've been going to the Aquarium for about 35 years. How could Detroit close the Aquarium, especially since we lost the Zoo

I hope your endeavor succeeds.  I would hate to see this landmark closed due to lack of funding.  There must be a way to get outside funding.

Every child from the inner city kids, to the kids from the suburbs, should get a chance to learn and observe underwater wildlife. 

One thing should be emphasized to the Mayor - Detroit provides a $4,000,000 annual subsidy to the main zoo in Royal Oak - 2/3 of the zoo's visitors are not Detroit residents. Essentially, City is providing a $4 subsidy for every zoo visitor, (or $12 for every city resident). Most zoo visitors do not pay taxes in the city, stop for gas in the city on their way to the zoo, go to
lunch/dinner in the city after visiting the zoo. In the same vein, Detroit
taxpayers, who are subsidizing everyone else, pay the same outrageous entry fee (what is it now?) as all of the other visitors from communities which do not support the zoo. These same communities DO reap the benefits of extra visitors/revenue sources who are drawn into their communities by the zoo's presence.
Why is it that at the first sign of a budget crunch, it is the City units of the
zoo which are cut? The City has been working hard to upgrade facilities overall on Belle isle - Why is the zoo being permitted to sabotage these efforts with City tax dollars?

It makes no sense.

I am a Detroiter and ready to pitch in!

I was not born and raised in Michigan--I moved here a little over a year ago. Although I am not from here--I have this strong urge to see Detroit thrive. I feel that it is a beautiful place with so much potential. I do not see how our mayor expects that to happen if he continues shutting these places down, laying people off, and boarding up the abandon buildings. The aquarium is a historical building. From what I've read it is the oldest aquarium in the country. How could he even consider closing the doors? 

I believe the real losers are the people of Michigan THE OLDEST in north americia 101 years thats history what can I do EMAIL me - I'll help. 

My daughters and I travel to Detroit twice a year at least to visit the Aquarium & the Zoo. It has been a tradition for the last 9 years and I would hate to see it end. it is definitely one of Michigan's treasures.  

The Aquarium is a land mark and an inspiration to us all no matter the age.  And it is a very helpful resource for learning and studying fish.  Not to mention the waste of stone work that it would become if it were to be closed.

Keep the Aquarium open!


Do not let this treasure be closed....

My name is Stanley Domanowski and I live in Syracuse NY.  I am an avid aquarist, so much so that I am involved in species maintenance.  I love all things "fishy", am a member of more then one local club and national/international fish organizations, and frequent public aquariums as time permits.  Among my favorites are Shedds Aquarium in Chicago and Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit.

I believe this treasure for the City of Detroit is over 100 year old and the oldest aquarium in the country.  The loss of this landmark would be cultural suicide.  Its destruction would not only hurt the City of Detroit  and the State of Michigan but the Country as a whole.  It should be preserved/used for future generations as the true jewel that it is.

I understand the financial reasoning for its proposed closure but I venture to say, without having any real facts at my disposal (after all, I am not a resident) that the savings would not justify squandering such a historic, educational, and pleasurable facility.  The City of Buffalo, NY nearly destroyed their Botanical Gardens another turn-of-the-century treasure under a shortsighted desire to save $.  The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens was saved because the city and the county decided it was worth saving.  It is beautiful and so is Belle Isle Aquarium.


I believe it would be a shame to close this historic landmark. Lets get Detroit back on track!

My reaction:  Oh s..t you've got to be kidding.  What is the matter with our city.  There is simply no sense of history or an understanding of the importance of ecology in this town.   In our city, we just allow grand old buildings to rot and then we knock them down.  We live on the Great Lakes, Detroit is a historically important city on a historically important river that is closely tied to these Great Lakes--its history and ecology.  But what do we have, seriously polluted rivers (i.e. the Rouge) and  streams, e-coli in our lakes, mercury in our fish etc. etc. etc.  And down we're going to close our the aquarium.  I am sick of our city government!!!!

I love the aquarium!

Should the aquarium stay open?   OF COURSE IT SHOULD!!!  As a matter of fact it should not only be open it should be improved and made larger!! Save the Aquarium.  It is the oldest in the country.

I hope we are able to keep the aquarium open.  Nothing like having another vacant abandoned building in Detroit.  I guess we would rather spend money on Navigator's than something educational for the city.  Shame Shame on you Mayor!!!

The citizens of Detroit will visit the Metro Parks in the area and pay 2-3 dollars per vehicle (not considering the gas to get to the parks, which all are located in the suburbs) and won't pass a bill or ordinance to pay to enter one of the most beautiful natural jewels in Detroit and the Midwest. Make Belle Isle self sustaining and charge what the Metro Parks charge from April through October, (Walking or Bike traffic can still be free). Imagine keeping a beautiful resource that we grew up with and all it takes to preserve it for generations to come is less than the cost of a renting a video!!! What is wrong when citizens lose interest in their city and cannot understand that if something is not done soon, the entire park will be closed down next...come on people, lets get with this!!!!! 

I'd hate to see the BIA go, because the city can't find a better way to attempt to straighten out their budget issues.  Although I am not available to help financially, I am more than happy to do what I can to help the BIA!

I oppose the decision by the City of Detroit's zoological director, Ron Kagan, to close the Belle Isle Aquarium, a national historic treasure, educational asset, family destination, etc., as he closed the Belle Isle Nature Center. 

The small budget used to support the aquarium and its activities is nothing compared to the amount the city spends on the Royal Oak, I mean, Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak (approximately $4 million versus an amount in the thousands for the aquarium). Despite the lack of advertising and miniscule budget, the extraordinary staff has managed to breed fish here that are extinct in the wild, and will be extinct in the world if this facility is closed. This fact alone should be enough reason to keep it open.

There are a lot of things that could be done to make the facility more self supporting.

What will happen to the Ann Whitcomb Conservatory, which is interconnected to the aquarium, and has recently received grants to renovate their facility?  Will that be next?

Detroit would lose another tourist destination with  another light going out on the island...for no good reason. 

I would think the leaders of our city would be trying to KEEP the institutions that make Detroit a ""cool"" city, not put them out of business.

keep the aquarium open! I enjoy going to the aquarium every year when I come to Detroit, where I was born!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Belle Isle Aquarium is an amazing landmark for the city of Detroit.  As Belle Isle slowly goes down hill the Aquarium is the one place that has stayed constant.  My family visits the aquarium every year as a part of our family tradition on thanksgiving.  In October of 2004 my aunt died of breast cancer. As a family we were all pretty distraught by this horrible disease.  When Thanksgiving came around we were having a really hard time deciding why we as a whole were thankful for.  On Thanksgiving day we went to Belle Isle to enjoy the beautiful day, and the best part of our day is visiting the aquarium.  After that day my family seemed to bounce back from our mourning.  We realized that our strong family traditions were something that was going to keep us together.  Please don't take the Belle Isle Aquarium away from my family.

As a member of the Aquarium Historical Association, it would be shame to lose the aquarium. It is a treasure. 

Please consider keeping the Aquarium open. Without your support many species would have been lost forever.  Please help preserve this treasure for future generations.

We seem to have money for expensive cars - Detroiters should be able to say what their taxes are used for.  The aquarium is important to all of the Metro area. I would like to help.

I was greatly disappointed to hear about the imminent closing of the Belle Isle Aquarium. I grew up in Grosse Pointe, and although I now live in Massachusetts, I have many fond memories of the Aquarium.  Although I understand the need to save money, it seems that closing an educational institution is not the wisest solution to budget problems.  I certainly think that having the oldest Aquarium in North America is a great honor, and shouldn't be dismissed!

We are members of the wonderful New England Aquarium in Boston, and my husband and I enjoy taking our two small children there frequently.  It's both educational and fun for them, and I am saddened to think of the children in Detroit and its suburbs who will soon miss the simple pleasure of a trip to the Aquarium.

I visited this historical landmark many times while growing up in Detroit.  I am in the military and have traveled to many places, but this is always a favorite of me and my children.

If you close the Belle Isle Aquarium my main reason for visiting Detroit will disappear. As a fish hobbyist this aquarium must be saved it is known and respected. We are so jazzed by the new that we fail to preserve our history. How many 100 year old aquariums are in the US? How many in Europe? If you must build new tie it into the old in someway. I wish my city had an aquarium - it is a treasure be creative DETROIT! Do not give up your past!

Please Keep The Belle Island Aquarium open! It is important to the preservation of aquatic life and public Knowledge

please keep the aquarium. I was planning on taking my son their this summer. he would really like it. I heard a lot about it. I sure their is other cuts they can make.

The "Kid" running the City has no sense of history, nor any appreciation for the future!  Maybe he should stop buying Lincolns and fire his illiterate group
of $140,000/yr friends!"

I have many fond memories of attending Belle Isle and to allow the aquarium with its unique location and historical significance to be destroyed would be shameful!!  

Why are they planning to close the aquarium?  Maybe they should just charge more for admission and they would be able to keep it going.  I would be willing to pay more to get in.  I always take visiting relatives there to see our aquarium and often go there on a Sunday myself.  Please keep it open.  I am willing to help.

The Aquarium is a unique experience perfect for parents who want an unhurried trip and schools. It beats the Boston Aquarium in my book.

Keep the aquarium open. This is the only reason I even go into the City of Detroit. With all the crime and bad publicity (THAT THE CITY DESERVES) this is one of the simpler things in life,

If you feel the need to close something in Detroit...how about some of the strip clubs...not the Belle Isle Aquarium!!!!!!

Let's keep the aquarium open!

I love this aquarium. It would be a horrible waste to tear down this beautiful structure, not to mention that it has always been a wonderful informative aquarium. Detroit cannot lose this.

I want to help.

why close down such a treasure.... they are building all NEW things in Detroit just to impress the people for the super bowl.... why not show them something that has been a part of Detroit's history of a century.... please save the aquarium and put more money into fixing up belle isle and bring it back to is original beauty.... please do not put up strip malls and hotels....  make it a place for the people to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.....bring the zoo back...horse drawn carriage rides...nature centers..fix up the picnic areas   and above all save the aquarium  and leave the planetarium alone too  thank you 

History will tell the world that a 300 year old city thinks that the only 100 year old aquarium in the United States needs to be demolished.

Perhaps if the city knew how to manage its money, they wouldn't have to eliminate so many services and old buildings...

why close something that people have enjoyed for years. Detroit has lost to much already and to many jobs also. I say try to keep this open for all to see. People just take and take why not save something for a change.

Please keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open! It's a wonderful place for our children to learn and it's fun to visit. We'll be sad if we have to say goodbye to the aquarium.

After 101 years, do you really want to be the one to kill the aquarium, Mr. Mayor?  The city has seen tough times before without resorting to that.

Please don't tear down and/or close another unique Detroit landmark.  Detroit needs to keep them and build on them - we need more reasons to come to Belle Isle and Detroit.  My group rented space last summer - it was very lovely to be there - a true jewel.  We also visited the Aquarium and there is no place else like it.

After reading all of these comments, it is  obvious that the aquarium is important to a lot of people, residents and non-residents alike.  People are willing to pay a small fee to visit so why not start there?  Also, publicizing more in the surrounding areas would no doubt make a difference.  I would be willing to bet that there are people in the suburbs that didn't even know there was an aquarium in Detroit.  The more worthwhile attractions there are in Detroit, the more attractive it will be to investors who may want to open a business there.  Would you want to open a business in a city with nothing but abandoned buildings?  If there is money to build a new aquarium on the riverfront (which I would have to believe will cost a lot more than the current one) why not save a few bucks and keep the one we have?

First they take away our deer.  Now the aquarium.  Fire the Zoo Managers and save money.  They don't know what they are doing to us!

Let me know how I can help. 

This is a disgrace to Detroit.  No problem leasing $24k Navigators for a year.  I love this city and I've always loved the beautiful piece of history that the aquarium carries.

Belle Isle is slowly being ruined. Please don't contribute to this, and find a way to keep the aquarium open.

It would be extremely sad to see such a big city lose something so precious. 

I truly believe that there are private groups that could be solicited to keep the Aquarium operating. This historically significant aquarium should not be allowed to become another blighted has been building within the City of Detroit. 

This aquarium has been teaching science since it opened. The children who visit this aquarium see living organisms - not just a video or paper picture. If the next generation is to work at preserving our world they must learn to appreciate it - and they won't if it isn't "real" to them. Please, please keep this facility open. I am a 66 year old nature lover and guardian. I still remember visiting this aquarium when I was barely tall enough to see the exhibits. It has been a Detroit icon and not many of them are left. Please don't destroy this aquarium - Detroit will be the poorer if you do.


It is so sad to think that this is scheduled to close. Thank you for your efforts to save it.

If this cannot be saved it would be a travesty for every resident of the state of Michigan.  For the safety of all our waters and education and recreation. 

Please keep this treasure open, it is the oldest in the country.

Aside from being an fun experience for children and adults, the aquarium is educational and fun! With the problems we face in ecology, removing an Aquarium, especially one of the oldest aquariums around....you are removing history, and denying the city and its visitors this much needed educational site.

Don't let politics...and bad management destroy this Aquarium.

I think there should be a fee to enter Belle Isle.  Maybe $1 per auto for about 3-5 years to collect funds to fix up and maintain restrooms, Aquarium, concession stand, canoe rental, etc.

First they take away our deer.  Now the aquarium.  Fire the Zoo Managers and save money.  They don't know what they are doing to us!

Let me know how I can help. 

This is a disgrace to Detroit.  No problem leasing $24k Navigators for a year.  I love this city and I've always loved the beautiful piece of history that the aquarium carries.

Belle Isle is slowly being ruined. Please don't contribute to this, and find a way to keep the aquarium open.

It would be extremely sad to see such a big city lose something so precious. 

I truly believe that there are private groups that could be solicited to keep the Aquarium operating. This historically significant aquarium should not be allowed to become another blighted has been building within the City of Detroit. 

This aquarium has been teaching science since it opened. The children who visit this aquarium see living organisms - not just a video or paper picture. If the next generation is to work at preserving our world they must learn to appreciate it - and they won't if it isn't "real" to them. Please, please keep this facility open. I am a 66 year old nature lover and guardian. I still remember visiting this aquarium when I was barely tall enough to see the exhibits. It has been a Detroit icon and not many of them are left. Please don't destroy this aquarium - Detroit will be the poorer if you do.


It is so sad to think that this is scheduled to close. Thank you for your efforts to save it.

If this cannot be saved it would be a travesty for every resident of the state of Michigan.  For the safety of all our waters and education and recreation. 

Please keep this treasure open, it is the oldest in the country.

Aside from being an fun experience for children and adults, the aquarium is educational and fun! With the problems we face in ecology, removing an Aquarium, especially one of the oldest aquariums around....you are removing history, and denying the city and its visitors this much needed educational site.

Don't let politics...and bad management destroy this Aquarium."

I think there should be a fee to enter Belle Isle.  Maybe $1 per auto for about 3-5 years to collect funds to fix up and maintain restrooms, Aquarium, concession stand, canoe rental, etc.

When I was little, my family used to celebrate "Detroit Day".  We'd go to the BIA, BIZ, and do the Stroh's tour.  We just started the tradition again--but all that is left is BIA.  It's very sad that such a beautiful place is going to be boarded up like many of the other buildings on the island.  It seems more financially responsible to scrap plans for this supposed Belle Isle Nature Zoo and spend that money on the Aquarium.  In times of stress it's always better to maintain what you already have then start new projects.

This was very special part of the park outing when I was a child.  Plus, I just came home in July and had my kids visit the aquarium.  They loved it!!

what will belle isle have to offer?

we visited the aquarium on 2-5-05. we looked it over and can't understand why they just don't add on? the only thing missing is some bathrooms. we love that place.


save the aquarium

It's a shame to close down such an old, beautiful aquarium with very interesting marine and saltwater fish.  The city should be proud to have such an attribute to their name and should stop at no cost to keep one of our country's landmarks open.

It would be a shame for our city to lose such an informative and beautiful resource as the Belle Isle Aquarium.  The aquarium not only offers citizens a refreshing step from the city into another world, but also a chance for children to learn about marine and saltwater life.  I understand there are many costs to consider when running such an establishment, but I ask of those in charge of this matter: "Is the value of a dollar worth more than the enlightenment a child receives from new knowledge learned?

The Belle Isle Aquarium has been a huge part of my live for over 70 years!  I would like others to have that same opportunity!

Its a piece of history... and one of the FEW remaining historical landmarks Detroit has.  It would be shame to tear it down. 

The Aquarium needs to have restrooms accessible within the building. It would be a big hassle for any teachers on school field trips to have to escort kids to a bathroom in an outside building. That just plain looks BAD!

The building looks 'tired' and needs some general upkeep in order to attract more people. This is one of Detroit's hidden treasures. Let's save it. Could some of the environmental groups obtain support from a Corporate Foundation (Matilda Wilson, Ford, Mott, etc.) and generate an endowment and keep supporting funds away from City of Detroit--which is obviously not doing a good job of stewardship of these resources."

It is a true gem that Detroit should keep open if they want to attract visitors and keep visitors entertained for the SuperBowl next year.

I visited this Aquarium for the first time over new years. I feel in love. You can not allow them to close this wonderful place. It seems everything on Belle Isle is closing. And that is a such a pretty place. it should stay opened. 

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a regional treasure that needs to be saved.  Have grants been pursued?  Has a marketing effort been undertaken to draw additional visitors?  Have admission fees been raised at all?  Detroit has few enough jewels remaining; this is not the time to start eliminating them one by one.

The Aquarium is a landmark of Bell Isle.  It's where everyone for "year" goes when they go to Belle Isle.  What's left on Bell Isle.  Belle Isle use to be one of the most wonderful places to go when I was a kid.  Canoeing, pony rides, carriage rides, speed boat rides, the Aquarium, the plant conservatory. It WAS a wonderful place to go and everyone went there.  Now Belle Isle is just an island sitting in the middle of the Detroit River.  What a fantastic place for people to go and visit HOW ABOUT FOR THE SUPER BOWL NEXT YEAR.   

Why is Detroit trying to destroy everything it has? It only knows how to tear thing apart not how to restore and keep the thing here that mean something to the people. Detroit is a throw away society that has no concern for tradition. You can see that in the way the people live in their home and don't take care of them and don't have pride in what is around them.  

My family has paid for a zoo membership for years, only to see fundraiser money go missing, have the Belle Isle Zoo closed and the Detroit Zoo hours greatly reduced.  If they close the Aquarium, it will probably be the last straw for me.

It may be a small aquarium in size but it is very important and valuable to the natural sciences and study of some endangered and very close to extinct fish!  It has Michigan native fish, fresh water fish (which many aquarium do not have), and some of the exotic fish, too.

Please do not take this educational and tourist destination away!!!!!"

keep fighting! I haven't even been there, but plan to try and visit soon - I don't want the BIA to disappear without ever having been there, like the zoo! I have known kids who loved the place, and its unique and accessible location and facility are truly a gem for Detroit. keep it open!

I would love to get involved in any way that I can. I grew up going to the aquarium, and continued to make it a favorite place of mine through my teenage years and now. I always wanted to be able to take my kids to the aquarium so that they can experience the joy that it gave me. 

How can the city of Detroit possibly think of closing down this century old facility. How much did the city spend on it's misguided dream of transforming the old train station into the new police station. Anyone in their right mind would only have to take a walk through the building to realize that that place is beyond salvage. Maybe that money could have been better used to support gems like the Aquarium. Just my opinion. 

Are you kidding.  Every major city has an aquarium.  If anything you should be thinking about how to improve the aquarium so that it competes with the standards that other cities have developed.  This city needs to do something if they are going to attract tourists to Detroit and taking away is not the answer.  Improving is!

Belle Isle is run down and clearly the city has NO pride in it's upkeep.  Ever thought about charging a toll to go over.  Even if it's $0.50.  That could add up and those funds could make Belle Isle a wonderful place to visit.

It seems as though everyone is so quick to jump on the band wagon and give up.  Why not develop some pride and fix it!

My children love going to the Belle Isle Aquarium.  It would be a tragedy for the aquarium to closed.  I feel that we have lost enough things to finances being allocated to the wrong things.  Just once, it would be nice to see money go somewhere people can enjoy it, besides being caught up in the bureaucratic schemes.

I think with the SuperBowl coming next year it would be a GREAT thing to have the nations oldest aquarium open. 

My family and I LOVE the aquarium.  It makes for a nice Sunday afternoon visit.  If it closes, what incentive do I have to come to the Island?  And yes I'd be willing to pay admission. (I usually do in those donation containers anyway)

In this day of complex, advanced technology, loud noises, fast speeds, it is a joy to think of the Belle Isle Aquarium with its live fish, peace and quiet, and attractive natural surroundings. It should stay open for us today and for future generations.

It would be a travesty to lose yet another historic jewel from this city's rich legacy. Such losses must end now! 


I have sent as many emails to the organizations you suggested.. I hope this helps in your fight to keep the aquarium open.

Good luck!"

As an adult I have taken my daughter there every Easter for the last 12years it is a family tradition.

The Belle Isle Aquarium has been such a famous Detroit landmark for decades and I think that closing it down would be a HUGE mistake. Since I can remember, my family and I have taken frequent visits to the Belle Isle Aquarium and I just hope that one day when I have a family, that they can share the same joy with me, that I have when I was a kid at the aquarium. I am now 15 years old and would like to try to do anything within my power to keep this phenomenal building open for decades to come.

Why are we closing a historical landmark?

I think it's worth more than 1 Navigator for somebody's wife to be shuffled around in!

The aquarium is part of the city's history, as well as the world's.  Let's show the world what we have, not what we can stupidly lose!"

To Whom It May Concern:
Tearing down the Belle Isle Aquarium is one of the worst ideas ever. Why would anyone think of getting rid of a building that just celebrated it's 100 anniversary last August AND is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings?!  

I remember every summer my Grandfather used to take me there. I was fascinated with fish and anything to do with the water. My boyfriend and I have gone numerous times, as he has the same love of aquatic life as myself. Now that he's gone, all I have now are memories. I can't help but think of all the wonderful times him and I had visiting the aquarium.

Is it so important to tear down our history, our worthwhile entertainment, one of the few places kids can go and not be getting into trouble, a place that is fun for both children and adults, to do what? Put up a condo complex or shopping plaza? You wouldn't tear down the Detroit Zoo despite the ever-growing downtown area of Royal Oak, would you? Someone needs to get their priorities in order."

I would hate to see Detroit lose another vital learning resource within the city.

I would like to be contacted to help fight against the closing.

What else can we do to fight?

I have been to many aquaria around the country.  Few are the superior of, let alone the equal of the Belle Isle Aquarium.

We cannot allow this corrupt ""administration"" to close our aquarium!"

Little by little Detroit's gems are being stripped from us.  It's only a matter of time before Detroit is a completely lifeless shell of what it could be.  Stop this senseless closing of our treasures!  The aquarium is one of the things that make living in Detroit special!

I want the aquarium to be around for my kids to see!  it's a piece of our history.

It is to bad that we either tear down or close structures in Detroit only to realize that we are going to make another big mistake. You have to give people a reason to come down to Detroit. Not by tearing down or closing buildings and leaving them vacant like Tiger Stadium or Michigan Central.  These were great building and now look at Michigan Central. I believe more people would be glad to donate more money to these type of situations if they knew were their money was going ,instead of it getting into the wrong hands of some people. The people who are in charge have to be honest with the people in Michigan.  I was born  and grew up in Detroit Michigan, in fact I was the smallest baby born in 1959 weighing only one pound and eleven ounces at birth. I know live in the suburbs but I am proud of Detroit but I am also disturb about what has happen over the years about the city.  When you travel through America and you mention your from Detroit, people can't believe you associate with the city at all. They have such a negative image about Detroit,

this would be my last place to visit.

We as Michiganers should pull together and help out instead of pulling away and forgetting our past. But there has to be change in order to do this. I took my wife and two children to the Belle Isle Aquarium and to the conservatory this past Sunday and we had a great time.  There is so much to see, learn and to teach our children about our past and history before it is too late and everything is torn down and closed.  I met Bill Horman at the Conservatory, what a fantastic man  with great  knowledge, and concern for helping out our city and truly making a difference for our future children in Michigan. Other cities have changed for the better, lets start with some of us working together to save Belle Isle Aquarium instead of what is best for some people and their pocket books. Hopefully some institutions and or donors can come through just like Bill Horman has done over the past years to make a difference to help the cause.

restructuring the existing 'failing' city government would do more for the city than closing a landmark site.  the less places like these the City of Detroit has the more it becomes the wasteland the rest of the country says it is.

Some of my favorite childhood memories!  Let them be my future!

As a native of Windsor Ontario Canada I can remember all the times I went to the belle aquarium and I want to pass that experience on to my 15 month old daughter. This will be morally wrong if it is closed.

Please keep this great aquarium open!

To keep it open start fundraisers or something

What is the city coming to? Does anyone care anymore? Does the word Historical ring a bell? These are lifelong memories gone forever and no future ones. I'll continue to be a prayer warrior on this matter. Life is beautiful so is our aquarium.

Please Detroiters- Stop buying SUV's for the VIP's and start standing up for the betterment of the community!

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a jewel of a facility and is one of the main attractions in Detroit. Losing it would be a shame. A new "downtown aquarium" would not be a suitable replacement.

You have gotten rid of everything on Belle Isle that I have taken my mother to, my son and my brother when they were young. Why do you have to take this away too.

I am willing to help by distributing info in the Compuware Building. Thank you!  

I am just devastated by this news.  Closing this important historical and cultural gem would be a terrible loss to our children and our community, and it can't possibly save the city enough money each year to matter.  Please let me know how I can help! 

We need to preserve and expand the historic things in the city of Detroit, not tear them down.  If we are trying to make Detroit more of a tourist city, this great aquarium should stay open.  

How sad that our city 'leaders' see fit to close the Belle Isle Aquarium.  So many of the positive attributes in the city of Detroit are being depleted.  Detroit was once a 'Mecca' for the arts, culture and yes, even science.  Thanks to several wonderful  contributors we do now have a world class Science Center. But we - the citizens of Detroit - are living a lie if we continue to expect 'contributors' to step forward and 'save' each and every one of the city's 'jewels'.  We all have to be willing to 'contribute'.

 As an educator with the Detroit Public Schools for 27 years, I have seen far too many negative changes affect the opportunities for Detroit citizens' to grow educationally, culturally, and personally.

What a shame that we will 'put forth our best face' for a  sporting event, but not do the same for our children's future.

How can I help?"

My family owns a pet store in metro-Detroit.  We make an annual trip to the Aquarium on New Year's Day.  It started out as something my father and his employee's would do out of love for wildlife and it has become quite a tradition in my family.  I would love to help.  Please keep me posted.

Keep the aquarium!!!  My parents took our family, I've taken my children and would like to return soon!  I'd like my children to be able to take their kids!  There is nothing like the Belle Isle Aquarium-please keep it open!



The nicest thing left on Belle Isle--please keep the Aquarium open!

What a shame to loose such a treasure!

You just cannot get these things back once they are gone.  I work downtown (live in Southgate) and it is great to be able to go to the Aquarium (or Conservatory) at lunch once a month or so.

I grew up on Belle Isle and the main event was visiting the Aquarium.  Please don't close our Aquarium....it's vital to maintain the status of Detroit! What "Big city" doesn't have an Aquarium?

Don't Close it!!!

I have fond childhood memories of the aquarium. Let's keep it alive.

Has Ford or GM been contacted yet for a donation or grant to keep the aquarium open until we get permanent funding.

Why? Why does the city of Detroit have the authority to shut down an institution that belongs to everyone in the metro area? We need to have something to share with our children to keep a sense of tradition! Please keep the aquarium around!! Charge an admission to the island. Stop wasting money on worthless light post shrouds! There's 1.5mil right there!!!

I believe this would be a tragic lost to the city of Detroit, and I live in Dearborn. I've enjoyed the Aquarium many times in my life and would hope to be able to take my grand children there someday? Please LISTEN to the people....

The Mayor and council want people to come to their city but by eliminating another historical as well as educational exhibit I believe they're doing just the opposite!!

The aquarium on Belle Isle is one of the few destinations that draws me to Detroit.  Whenever we have guests visit who are not from the area, we always take them downtown for a meal at Greektown and a tour of Belle Isle.  The aquarium is the jewel of the island.  With all this talk going on about changing the city of Detroit's image why would we shut down one of its few worthwhile and historic attractions? 

Enough is enough, Ron Kagan must GO!  And he can take his frogs with him!

Good luck in your endeavor to save this historic facility. I will support you in your cause"

Once again, the "world class" city of Detroit will let another icon crumble due to its stubbornness and mismanagement. I believe that the Belle Isle Aquarium and also the Conservatory should be taken from the City of Detroit to be run by an organization that will promote, manage and take pride in such  beautiful and important buildings.

Good luck in your endeavor to save this historic facility. I will support you in your cause."

If we can't afford the small amount they pay for the existing aquarium, how can we afford a new aquarium? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!


I just became aware of this situation.  I'm a native Detroiter now living in Washington, DC.  I spent a good part of my childhood at Belle Isle and definitely want the Aquarium to continue to be part of the park's great attractions.  

Belle Isle and all of its offerings are part of Detroit and I admire any effort to try to save it.

Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.

Jo Anna Norris"

Belle Isle Aquarium has been a part of my life for nearly 30 years. I can't tell you how many times I have been there. I would guess it to be close to 100 times. 

As a child my much older neighbors watched me during the summer while my mother was at work. Being someone who always wanted to please me, Louie would eventually ask what I wanted to do? Inevitably I would answer 'Let's go to Belle Isle'. Over the course of 3-4 summers I bet we averaged more than one trip there per week and most trips involved a spin through the aquarium and sometime the zoo and slide.

Although there isn't quite as much to do 25yrs later I have tried to pass this tradition on to my nieces and nephews. I have taken them a number of times down there. It is with sadness that as I am about to have a child of my own I won't be able to pass on this tradition any more.  

I applaud your efforts to save such an institution and offer my support and gratitude to you. "

I'm sending this letter today...

Commissioners of the Detroit Zoological Institute

Dear Commissioner:

The Board of Directors of the Riverfront East Alliance (REAL) voted to inform you of our strong objection to both the planned closing of the Belle Isle Aquarium and the manner in which the decision came about.

We are aware of no forums, opportunities for public comment and objection or open discussions preceding the rushed decision and announcement of the facility's closing--NONE. The Director's suggestions that this has been many years in the making makes this complete lack of public dialogue regarding a public facility all the more appalling. Our leadership and membership represent some of the most active citizens along Detroit's lower east side, yet we were not aware of the matter until just very recently. How can that be?

Folks across the nation must almost consider Detroiters moronic at this stage as we regularly let pass as fact the uninformed comments of short sighted leaders that any structure left standing for more than 50 years becomes immediately obsolete and unfit for retrofitting of any kind. The inaction of your staff to build into its program a regular maintenance, upkeep and facilities improvement schedule is their fault, not ours, and yet we are being asked to pay the price through the impending loss of another positive cultural, recreational and historical asset in our midst.

We are not blind to the fact that the City of Detroit faces a budget emergency which requires action and surely sacrifice on all of our parts. This proposed action, which would serve to correct a mere 2/10th's of one percent of the overall municipal deficit, is particularly short sighted in view of the fact that public and private investment in adjacent river-area recreational, housing and retail development totals more than $250 million. What signal does this send to donors, corporations, foundation and prospective residents and businesses who are being asked to be a part of a wonderfully developed and recreated riverfront area?

We implore you to explore alternatives in terms of funding, deficit reduction, and planning and to halt actions toward closure that put the aquarium facility, programs and water bound residents in peril.


Steve Wasko

President, Board of Directors

Riverfront East Alliance

I'll be happy to help in anyway that I can.

I think the Aquarium is amazing and something that should be cherished.  I am tired of seeing historical landmarks abandoned or blown-up.  Let's show the world Detroit cares.

The aquarium should stay open.  I don't care how just make it happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The aquarium should stay open.

The aquarium is truly a treasure. We're supposed to be a 1st class city. Then PROVE IT!!!!

What's going on here? I thought the mayor was all about having activities for the kids and family? I mean everyone, not just his!!!

Let me know how I can help.  I'm also interested in what plans, if any, are under consideration for saving the aquarium.

First the Belle Isle Zoo, now the Aquarium, next probably the Conservatory and then let's build condos on the island.  Why don't we just start getting an admission fee for the island or, better yet, sell it to the Metro park system and let them bring it back to respectability.  The deer have already been taken out of the woods and put into the closed zoo which takes away part of the mystique of going to Belle Isle.  How much more do we have to lose before the whole city goes by the wayside?  Obviously, Belle Isle is not the problem but the whole city is going to ---- in a handcart.  Let's do something now before everything we grew up with is gone.

Please keep the Aquarium open. 

The closure of the Belle Isle Aquarium really disturbs me. Of course, the city budget crisis looms. But surely the aquarium might be something that could be privatized and run by a non-profit organization that might have better access to foundation grants and volunteers! I had read that attendance at the aquarium has declined, but  in terms of people attendance per square foot (which is often used to judge retail stores and other businesses)  is the 'foot traffic' really less than that in the (much larger and more expensive) main zoo? I rather suspect not, since the building is only 10,000 sq ft. compared to the acres of space at the main zoo. Surely it is a 'lean' facility, and a modest one. And when was the last time the aquarium was promoted? It is barely mentioned in all the zoo literature.

I believe that the aquarium is a vital part of Detroit's history

Please keep the aquarium open!

With all the waste in Detroit's spending, there MUST be a way to keep this open somehow.  Let's not let this go the way of so many cultural institutions in this city!!  

It is a shame that the Aquarium is closing.  What could possibly be done to keep it open?  My kids look forward every year to visit the Aquarium.  Toooo baddd!  It will be a great disappointment for the teachers and children this year because several of them have school trips lined up to visit.  Is there anything you can do to keep it open?  Please write and let me know what I can do to help.

Please keep this gem open.  I can honestly tell you that I visit the aquarium several times a year with my sons and would hate to lose the experience.

I feel the aquarium is a wonderful part of the city of Detroit.  People need to have a place where they can learn about different kinds of fish and the importance of having them as part of our ecosystem.

Perhaps it could be opened to School Districts to each sign up to do a fundraiser to help support this worthy venture.  They could do Bake sales or other events once a year and donate proceeds in their School Dust's Name.

We love the aquarium and hope that we can preserve it.  It is the oldest aquarium in the country and I think we should try to keep it!

Please try and find the funds to keep the aquarium open  - what a terrible loss to the city of Detroit if it were to close!

How has Detroit advertised the aquarium---they haven't done a thing that I know of. Other major cities have much larger aquariums then Detroit yet we are world renown for breeding fresh water stingrays and other 1st's in their field


I have gone to the aquarium since I was a little girl. I have been there with my children and when someone comes from out of town it is a nice place to go to end an afternoon in the city.  The ability to see the fish and learn about the marine life in the great lakes is like no other in my opinion.  KEEP IT!  PLEASE...

This historic landmark should be saved!  This aquarium should be an example of what Detroit and Michigan believes is important to the people of our state.

Me and my two daughters have enjoyed the aquarium for the last seven years. We still miss the zoo on Belle Isle, please don't take away our fish too.

I have lived in Arizona since 1980 and still have VERY fond memories of going as a kid and taking my kids to see the aquarium. I visit Detroit yearly and plan to visit the next time I am there.

I think it would be a shame to loose another great site in the city. 

there is no way I will see this happen!! there is no excuse for the city closing such a fine establishment.  

I have taken my classes to visit the aquarium.  The children are fascinated by the many varieties of fish and other sea life.  For many this is the one and only opportunity they have to see these creatures.  To take this away would be a shame for the children of Detroit and its suburbs.

Please save the Aquarium and bring back the zoo and the deer

I would lose all respect for a once great city if they let one of its crown jewels close. I work Shelby Townships Television station and have been trying to do a news piece on the aquarium but have been given the run around for years. All I wanted was to let some of the suburbanites know what and interesting and wonderful place it is.

Anything I can do to help please let me know. Many times as a lad my parents had to drag me out of there because I found it so fascinating. Hope I can help.

I'm on Pleasant Ridge City Commission, formerly on Historic Commission.  If resolution of support would help the cause, plz advise.  

Also, my son Alex is in Urban Studies at WSU and would volunteer to help.

How sad that our Government leaders fail to recognize the great potential for knowledge, and growth an aquarium of this nature imparts on all of the people of our planet. Pease try to find a way to continue the operation of such a wonderful, and historic piece of Detroit, and the State of Michigan it represents.

With all the excess in government....this is what you want to close?  Shame on you!

The Aquarium MUST remain open.  Charge a park entrance fee.  Vote again on the per car charge for entrance to the park.

The first place I remember visiting in the city when I was a young child was Belle Isle and the aquarium, It's one of my most pleasant memories as a youngster.  I worked on the Detroit Police Department for 30 years, including two years as a patrolman on Belle Isle and know first hand of the beauty and intrigue that people see and feel as they visit the island and aquarium for the first time.  I think it would be another great mistake to allow the aquarium to close as it would only end up being another abandoned building with boards in the windows like the Book Cadillac and the Train Station. I don't understand how they can consider closing this aquarium and talk of building another on the waterfront that would never have any where near the charm and history of the one we already have. I say "SAVE THE AQUARIUM AT ANT COST" a jewel that any major league city would be proud of having.

We must keep our remaining "jewels" from suffering the same fate as vernors, stroh's, sanders, kresge, hudson, sears, boblo island and boats, edgewater park, and so on. 

Please do not close the aquarium.  The kids and adults love it!  It's educational.

I have been going to the aquarium since I was a little baby and I don't want it to close.  When I was little I really enjoyed the fish and still do. I went there on field trips with school also.

I have been going to the aquarium since I was a little baby and I don't want it to close.  When I was little I really enjoyed the fish and still do. I went there on field trips with school also.

A real good place to start, save the aquarium, the Island, the CITY, It's time for all who care to take a stand, NOW.

I will be coming to today's meeting to help.  Is that Ok?

The Belle Isle Aquarium is so beautiful and full of history.  Please don't close it!

I love to bike ride and kayak at Belle Isle, but am also interested in preserving the WHOLE park. 

Please DO NOT close the aquarium! I take my children there on a regular basis and now they are very worried about the fish!

this aquarium is a national treasure. how dare Kwame cut it out of existence and further denigrate the city he supposedly loves.  Belle isle needs the aquarium for historic value. Detroit needs belle isle for international appeal.

I love this aquarium !!! Please don't let it close.  We must come up with creative ideas to save it. As a city resident and aquarium hobbyist (yes, one of those!) I support the continued existence of this facility.

We strongly believe that the Belle Isle Aquarium should be preserved and open to the public. It not only has great historical and scientific value but is an icon that helps to make Belle Isle the unique and enjoyable park that it is. 

I like fish.

so I wish

and I'm hopin'

they keep it open.

it can't be gone--

replace albert khan?"

I will be sorry to see the Aquarium closed.  As a teacher in Detroit, I have taken classes there.  The field trip was always a success.  Urban children have such limited experiences.  Please don't close the Aquarium.

I think we need to keep the aquarium open a lot of people enjoy it!

Why can't they just up the entry fee a bit? Even one dollar per head would help. What's next the conservatory, then the Dossin Museum? Belle Isle is a beautiful place, but as a whole needs help. My father, who grew up in Detroit and visiting Belle Isle has an outstanding idea. Why not turn the island over to the Huron Clinton Metro Parks, which would mean charging to get on the island. Look at how nicely all the Metro Parks are kept up. I heard there was talks about charging to enter the island, not long ago. Supposedly people complained that they didn't want to pay to get on. It's simple; if you don't want to pay to get on the island, don't go. There are so many things that could be done with the money to lure visitors back (i.e. canoeing, boat docks, bike trails, concessions..$$$). Turning the island over to HCMP or at least just charging for vehicle entry should be done.....now. No haggling over this in city council meetings. Just do it!!!  Again, the money earned would help the aquarium, as well as all the islands attractions.  

I think the aquarium is a valuable resource to Detroit Public Schools, and the schools of Metro-Detroit.

The aquarium should not be closed, I gone there many times, and I want it available for my grandchildren.

There should be other cuts that could be made, that would save the aquarium. Let's exhaust all other choices first.

Give the Aquarium a reprieve.  I forgot there was an aquarium on Belle Isle.  I go to other cities and the first thing I used to take my children to was their aquarium not knowing or remembering we had one.

If you took a poll of Head Start teachers I'll bet you most did not know we had an aquarium.  They do field trips regularly.  

It would seem logical for the Detroit Zoo with its abundant funding, to be able to filter a small amount over to the aquarium to keep it open.  This beautiful and historical landmark is most worthy of a visit while in Detroit.

My children (ages 8 & 10) are very distraught about this. We visit Belle Isle often. When the zoo closed I had no answers for them.  The possibility of closing the aquarium has added to their disillusion.  My husband and I were born & raised in Detroit and are desperately trying to raise our children in this city.  Closing important venues like the Belle Isle Zoo and the Aquarium make it difficult for families to provide stimulating, fun and affordable activates for their children in Detroit. 

What's next?

I find it difficult to believe that this aquarium is going to be closed. I also find it difficult to believe that it could possibly be legal to close the oldest aquarium in the United States. Sure the animals will be transported to another aquarium, but it's the middle of winter outside, and anyone who knows anything about aquatic animals knows that it is very difficult to keep them alive when switching their habitats. I just feel that it is ignorant to endanger already endangered species even further by subjecting them to winter temperatures. Has anyone with the aquarium tried to contact a lawyer? If not, I think it would be worth a try because the whole thing sounds a bit "fishy" to me. 

My mother and Father always went there together- it makes me happy and brings back great memories

We need to preserve our gems not destroy them!

I feel the aquarium should not be closed .When I was young and came to Belle Isle it had a huge impact on me. Now I have (3) fish tanks in my home. And a great love for fish.

This Legacy must be maintained for our enjoyment and the exposure of future youth. To close this wonderful venue sends the message that it is ok to experience budget shortfalls due to poor management decisions a long as you can close an enhancement venue that will not make up a fraction of the deficit.  WRONG MESSAGE TO SEND TO FUTURE LEADERS AS WELL AS CONSTITUENTS.

How can anyone expect Detroit to thrive when it continues to close/threaten to close key cultural sites?

I am from Cleveland, Ohio. I and my family have visited Belle Aquarium, and we have found it to be a very informative, well-laid out, and interesting aquarium. I have been to the Boston, Baltimore, Newport, and other aquariums, and the fish and exhibits that you have in this facility are excellent. Closing this down would be a disservice to those of us visit it, as well as denying any future visitors. I hope that you reconsider this terrible decision.

We must not allow this facility to go the way of so many other historical attributes of Detroit.  We do not need another vacant crumbling reminder of the cultural center that was Detroit. We need to stop the loss of another beautiful building that was given us by hard working people with vision. This great old facility was dedicated for us to learn from, cherish, appreciate and it goes without saying, maintain. The people of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties have all benefited over the years from this and other great legacies of the age of Detroit's greatness as a manufacturing center. It's time for these Counties to stop the damage - to find the funding to save this and whatever else can be revitalized of the Belle Isle Park.

My husband and I are residents of Detroit and we want to help keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open.  

Please don't close the Belle Isle Aquarium!   It's a one-of-a-kind place that is beautiful and useful!   The only two acceptable courses of action are (1) keep it open, or (2) move it brick-by-brick, tile-by-tile, to a safer location.   It MUST not be closed!!!!

I wanna be such a help you won't beleive it

I am so excited to do this, Help the aquarium!  I am sooo down to get some work done and some history and fish saved!!!!!

The Belle Isle aquarium is a jewel!  Let's keep it.

Please don't close the aquarium on Belle Isle.  There is no funding for a replacement and it would be cheaper to fix the current one.  Don't destroy this Detroit icon.  The fish are irreplaceable.

Didn't our Mayor go to Florida to see how the city of Jacksonville managed super bowl 39?  Besides the game a lot of fans wanted things to do and places take their children. St Augustine, just a short ride from Jacksonville, advertised the "Oldest School House in America" and its other historic sites to attract thousands of tourists. Less than a year from today Detroit will host Super bowl 40. With timely foresight and wisdom Detroit officials announced the closing of the Western Hemisphere's oldest aquarium. You can build anything you want today but it will take over a hundred years for it to mature to the status the Belle Isle aquarium.  I guess we can hang out with our kids and Mr. Fitzpatrick at one of the flashy downtown Casinos. Anyone for chips and fish?

The Belle Isle Aquarium is one of the fondest childhood memories that any kid growing up in the Detroit metro area remembers. It is a big part of Detroit's cultural heritage and a historical icon that should not be allowed to go by the wayside. Perhaps we can get the support of community, labor groups or corporations to come to it's aide--the call from the media has been helpful.

The aquarium should not close!!!! It has been part of my life for over 48 years. Belle Isle attractions should not be shut down, this could be the jewel of Detroit. Zoo, Conservatory, riding stables, golf, racing cars, boat races, etc. WAKE UP!!!! and use this precious resource to enhance the city. God knows we need it!!!

Let's keep the oldest, continuously operating aquarium open. It would be a shame to allow another gem of the City of Detroit to go down the drains.

It's the ultimate statement from a dying city if the aquarium closes after 100 years.

Please keep Belle Isle Aquarium open.

Please keep the aquarium.

I have been taking my two boys to the Belle Isle Aquarium for the past 15 years and it has, in part, motivated my youngest son to seek a career in marine biology.  I will do all I can to be with you on February 20 at 2 with my son.

I have taken my classes to the aquarium for years   please keep it open

Keep it open

As a resident of Detroit, I feel that there are other ways to fund the Belle Isle jewel.  Also by closing the aquarium, we are giving another reason to have people leave the city.   

I have always enjoyed the aquarium when I have gone to Belle Isle. It would be a shame to see it close.

When I was a graduate student at University of Michigan, I conducted a one on one survey with Belle Isle users.  This survey was conducted in Fall, 2003 and the number of participants were 42 users. The purpose of the survey was to gauge  Belle Isle users opinion on whether they would be willing to pay to enter Belle Isle and/or favor the use of a donation system to enter the island.  On both questions, users favor a mandatory fee and the volunteer donation system,  (52% and 67% respectively.  I broke down the result by  respective gender, age, Detroit residents, frequency of use, etc.  If you think seeing more details and the raw data will help, let me know.

Growing up in Detroit, I often heard my parents and their friends talk about the things that "used to be" in this city -- shopping downtown, safe neighborhoods, real public transportation.  Now I find myself with my own list -- the Avenue of Fashion, Boblo Island, Joe Muer's, the Wine Cellers, the train station.  Is Detroit destined to become a city that exists just in people's memories?  If the aquarium closes, it becomes another item on a list that's already too long.  It's too special a place to let it become part of this city's past.

We must keep this true jewel in the city from closing!

Too much of Detroit's history is left in the dust.  Keep the aquarium

It would be a shame to lose such a wonderful opportunity for kids of all ages to enjoy this natural space within the city.  It just makes Chicago again that much more appealing.

This is an important educational and recreational opportunity in our city...a city struggling to maintain/regain stature in the country's eyes.  I don't think eliminating positive influences will do our community any good.  The fewer venues like this one the less possibility of attracting residential, commercial, vacation or convention activity.  I realize advertising is an expense, but I am not aware of much promotion in the last few years.

The Aquarium is a natural, historical and architectural gem in the crown of Detroit...it should never be closed.  It is one of the things that keeps Belle Isle interesting.

I will do anything to help save this place.  I used to visit about once a week but haven't been there for about 2 months.  It is beautiful and I would not like to see it go.

The Bell Isle Aquarium is one of the few remaining assets of Detroit.  To let it close would be akin to throwing in the towel and letting Detroit rot.

I came to your meeting on Saturday in Ferndale & was very impressed with everybody's enthusiasm & wish to keep the aquarium open. I am recruiting as many people as I can to come along on Sunday morning!!

Please save the aquarium.  

We can't afford to loose another landmark in Detroit. What can be done to save it?

Growing up in Warren, Michigan, my father took be to Belle Isle every month.  Now, I live in Windsor, Ont and I'm taking my children to the Beautiful Belle Isle aquarium!  Please do not take this amazing place away from the beautiful Belle Isle!

I have been going to the Belle Isle Aquarium since I was very young.  It was sad to take my fiancÚ (who is from Montana and never visited Belle Isle) for one of the last visits.  I would very much like if we could take our children, please keep the aquarium open. If not all week, then just the weekends.

Cut salaries, not city services and cultural institutions that we pay for with tax dollars.  

We love the fish...we love the building.  It gives us an excellent reason to visit Belle Isle.  What's next?...the Conservatory?

Has anyone contacted The Henry Ford (Greenfield Village) to see if they would be willing to help keep the aquarium open as a historical attraction?   Since they are in the business of preserving history, and this piece of history is right in their backyard, maybe they would be willing to help by establishing an outpost at Belle Isle that would include the working aquarium.

Also, since the aquarium does a lot with conservation, has anyone contacted conservation groups or the large animal groups (WWF, Humane Society, etc.) about assisting in keeping it open due to breeding and conservation programs?

Also, what if the aquarium was gifted to a university (like the Henry Ford Estate was to U of M) and they could take over the operation so students could use it as a learning ground for conservation and breeding?

It is very sad to see such a historic as well as educational and entertaining place closed- especially when the city has funds for fancy cars etc.  With the Superbowl coming I thought the more activities for guests the better.  

Please keep the Aquarium open! Belle Isle is a beautiful and historic place and should be restored, not closed down. Most of the buildings are in disrepair, just left abandoned. It's very sad. The city needs to put more value on restoring it's many historic landmarks, not adding casino's, etc. Next it will be the conservatory, and then what is left? It will just be a haven for drug dealers and other criminals.

One of the more valued treasures are the most vital places to keep and continue to Learn & Grow. Please Keep the Aquarium Open !

This is a treasure that should not be closed so I am signing this petition.

Please keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open.  

This wonderful city is able to have sponsors, Come out of the woodworks to build Casinos and Stadiums. Can we as a community come together and save Our Aquarium. This would fall up under Historic Buildings. We save old Ships let's save our History. Tell Channel 2 - 4 - and channel to run this story like there tell about the Mayor. God help Us All, If we can't save the History of Detroit. I will donate 500.00 can I Hear 600.00

I attended Sunday's meeting in Ferndale and spoke with Steven and Kate. My task is to draft corporate sponsorship letter, send to Steven/Kate, do mail-out, and follow-up after mail-out. I'll call Mary Waterstone and ask if we can solicit under umbrella of Friends of Belle Isle. My background: community planning consultant. Skills: grant writing; 501c3 application to IRS; review Detroit's master plans to see if they would help.

 I just found out about it over the weekend it must not be allowed to take effect please this aquarium must be kept opened for all of the metro area I will be more than happy to picket or almost whatever to keep it open  it has helped me through some pretty rough times in my life.  I would definitely support it whatever way I can."

We really like and enjoy the aquarium every time we visit.  It's the oldest and on the National Registry.  We urge everyone involved to keep the aquarium open.  It's needed and can't be closed.  Once it's gone; it's gone forever!    

Why shut down something that is educational Keep Our Children Informed !!

I support you 100%. This is the oldest aquarium in the world and this city needs to keep it open and updated. I enjoy visiting the aquarium every year. This past year I wrote a comment about this in the metro times newspaper. I was really upset when city council and the mayor displayed plans for the river front. They want to develop a multi-million dollar state park, when they can't even maintain and keep up one of our small precious historical parks. The buildings are deteriorating and the small ponds through out are polluted with litter.  I say close this stupid people mover down that is costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to run a year and invest in some of it in our Detroit history. 

Keep it open !

Am all for saving the aquarium.

I have gone to the Belle Isle Aquarium since I was a child.  Now that I have nieces and a nephew I enjoy taking them.  It's a place that needs to stay open not just for the city, but for the education and family togetherness that citizens are exposed to when they visit.  Let's keep it open!

The aquarium is obviously important enough to a lot of people and there have been lots of great money generating suggestions.  Why not even try to implement them?  I do not understand the theory that there is not enough money to keep this aquarium open, but the mayor thinks he will have enough to build a new one.  WE DON'T NEED A NEW ONE!!! What we need is someone to take care of the one we have now.  People are willing to pay extra, have private sponsors, etc.  I'm sure the aquarium would have even more visitors if more people knew it existed.  Publicize a little more.  If those in charge of closing the aquarium can't even acknowledge some of the solutions given, then they don't deserve to have their jobs.

Why not raise admission?
I recently learned the International Towing Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee charges $8.00 admission.  


Surely the BIA could double it's admission price.  With the number of visitors to the aquarium each year, that would really make a difference!

The admission fee should be raised!

Concerned, Windsor Ontario Canada"

I have been visiting the Belle Isle aquarium since I was a little kid...It was almost it's own tradition on Christmas Eve every year when I would go with my little brother and uncle to the Belle Isle Aquarium and conservatory. It would be a sad loss and a shame to close it down and to lose all of memories and good times of so many people with it.

I want to save the aquarium because the fishes need a home and someone to care.

Jacob age 8

divine child elementary school

Please put me on your mail list for upcoming meetings or 'demonstrations' or if I can help you in any way. I am reviewing the agenda from Saturday's meeting. 

The Aquarium is a part of Detroit's history; a primary reason for preserving it.  Secondly, closing it will add to the demise of the island itself - more than a jewel in Detroit's history and our collective memories.  Has everyone forgotten the mayors plan to open a huge (Baltimore style) aquarium on the water front.  This closure will fit right into those plans.  SAVE THE AQUARIUM!

it will be one less thing to do in the city of Detroit :(

Keep it open, Detroit has lost to much.

Please keep the aquarium open.  It is such an important part of Detroit history in addition to what it has to offer to the Metro Detroit area community.

Keeping museums and landmarks open is critical to a city's identity and image....don't close the aquarium!!

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a vital piece of educational and historical wealth. Please do not close the aquarium due to budget constraints. Make an effort to place cuts elsewhere where the whole community, state and children and not affected. 

Detroit has so few nice attractions.....lets not Kill another one!

Because of my busy work schedule I was only able to visit the aquarium only once every few years. I am deeply sadden by this event and am sorry I did not make it to the aquarium more often. I always made it appoint to tell people what a great place it was and to visit it whenever possible. Please let me know if I can help.

Please, Please, Please.  I take my grand children there once a year - it would be terrible to waste such a great exhibit.

the oldest aquarium in the United States, and an Albert Kahn-designed treasure is simply beyond me THAT ANY ONE WOULD CONSIDER CLOSING IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep it open!

This is nonsense.  One of the most valuable places in Detroit is closing.  Guess the mayor does not want people from the suburbs coming into Detroit.

This is an outrage... We need to stop the closing of the BIA. It has been a symbol of my childhood for year only to be closed without a single word said.

Please save the aquarium!

I love the aquarium! Why are you getting rid of the (very) few beautiful things that are in Detroit?

Keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open!!!

So what happened to all the $$$ from Casino gambling?  I visit Detroit (my home town!) two or three times a year and it keeps getting worse!  No streetlights on major streets - this city is the worst in the nation.  Why?  A succession of failed leadership, and it's doubtful it will ever change.  

keep this place of beauty open, its the first in our nation. it's a historical monument. this is part of our past, it should not be discarded like a piece of trash.

Keep the Aquarium open.

Keep it open please!

Keep the aquarium open! Detroit needs more attractions to bring much-needed revenue to its coffers. 

 what can I do to help?
email  me or  call  and I'll try to help!"


Don't continue to turn Detroit into a cultural black hole.  This is a small investment financially that will show huge dividends in the future through our city's children.

Keep the aquarium open.

I am 7 yrs.old, and i,ve been to the aquarium many times. My daddy always tells me he loves the aquarium and how his mom used to take him there all the time. Please don't close the aquarium. We love it very much. I think all the fish will be very sad to leave their home.

Me and my Dad will be there Sunday to help anyway we can."

Detroit is in enough trouble as it is, why take down one the oldest brightest lights left.

This is a wonderful aquarium  and I would very sad to see it closed.

I'm shocked!  Just heard the awful news about the proposed closing.  This is one of the most special places in Detroit...where I take visitors regularly, especially our colleagues from overseas.  Wish I were there now (one-year work assignment in China) to help!

This breaks my heart!  Will donations help?  Let me know if it's not too late.

I have been going to the aquarium since I was a child and now bring by little girl every time I'm back in Detroit.

This is a great place don't close it 

I visit every year that will be very disappointing if it gets closed down

The Aquarium is such a city treasure and part of our history and needs to be a part of our revival.  If it is needed, sell the Island to the Metro Parks to maintain the charm.

This is a very valuable resource for the community and has such a historic value - why would you want to close it?  This is one place that Detroit should value and support for the children and teachers in the area.  Want to show support to the education of the city? Keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open!!

A trip to Belle Isle Aquarium with my Grand parents was always a highlight in my child hood. Kids need that kind of experience, especially today. I'm sure if the Mayor looks hard enough, he can find other places to cut spending.

Detroit seems determined to become a city with no attractions.  This historical and beloved site  should never be closed.  Little money has been spent for its upkeep.  Closing the aquarium will make Belle Isle less of a tourist attraction and be of less interest to visit.   

What can I do?  Next Sat, Feb. 26th, I am trying to get a large group of friends to go and support the aquarium.  Please let me know what I can do to help save our past and my son's future.

This aquarium marks a child hood memory and when I return home each year I make sure to stop by.  Plus as all may know the super bowl will be in Detroit next year and this the opportunity of many people of all walks of life to see the memento of Detroit.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a gem. How can I become a fundraiser? A letter campaign might help...to Oprah, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg,  etc. Gathering all the willing organizations together- like AAUW, etc. is another possibility. getting PTA's in MI to contribute by offering free admission. A door to door collection of 1 dollar per fundraiser in peoples neighborhood is also possible.   

Save Aquarium! email mistake in first email. I want to help!!!

I love the aquarium, I remember always going there as a child, and even now when I have a bad day and need to be alone, or on a beautiful day, I go to the island and visit. I love belle Isle and the aquarium is a huge part of that!! 

Please keep the aquarium open!  I'm happy to make donations every time I visit or whatever is necessary. 

Please keep the Aquarium open!!

I live in Florida now but, when I visit Detroit want a place to take my kids.

I was born in  Detroit and lived on Van Dyke and Jefferson and went to Belle Isle every week to see concerts and go swimming ,attend the activities in the various venues and skate in the winter. I believe that Belle Isle is a world class cultural gem and should be developed to it's full capacity. I would like to be listed as an avid supporter and sign any petition to keep things going.

Someone asked why the Conservatory was remaining open, but the Aquarium being closed. Someone told me that this may because the Conservatory receives an endowment, and the terms of the endowment obligate the city to keep it open. I do not know if this is true.

There is a Belle Isle Botanical Society which raises funds for the Conservatory, and has I presume non-profit status. Their address is PO Box 14693, Detroit 48214. I wonder how they feel about this? At one time there was a door that connected the two buildings; it was later filled in with one of the larger aquariums that children collected money to build.

The aquarium gives kids of all ages a chance to see exotic & local specimens.  We have family that have experienced and loved the aquarium for more than 80 years.  Belle Isle is a treasure and the city is so wrapped up in "big plans" that they can't see the jewel that is available.

Why can't they charge admission to the Island, even $5 a car or you could buy a season pass.  Some of the money raised could be used to crack down on the teenagers that party during the summer & leave trash

How about diverting some of the Ford Foundation Funds used for the new environmental interpretive center to saving the operating budget.  Bill Ford understands conservation and supports environmental causes.  The aquarium saves & protects fish which are a major portion of our world.

why? this is not going to help the billions the city owes....

My mother, brother, and I all believe that the Aquarium should become an historical landmark and the money being used to make a new one should go to fixing up the old one. 

Why is this beautiful aquarium closing.  I have gone to Belle Isle ever since I was  kid and enjoyed the beautiful species of fish in the aquarium.  Why is this closing?  Most likely because of some big-time investor, as usual.  So, the little guy always gets stepped on.  Leave this open and let generations to come enjoy the beautiful wonders of the exquisite fish.  For a change consider the people who appreciate the beauty of nature, fish and wildlife.  There is a lot more water front than Belle Aisle available. Why not build what you want over there.  

Give or take the Belle Isle Aquarium has not seen that many updates or additions recently, but the city of Detroit would truly lose another landmark if it chose to close it.  I truly enjoy taking my kid there!

The Mayor is in deep dodo and this is just a way to help keep pressure off!

Please keep the aquarium open, we can find better ways to save money in Detroit!!!

I think that closing the Aquarium is a bad idea. I am single parent and I am able to bring my child to the Aquarium for a small to no cost. It is educational and something that my children can do that make them think. Thank you

many people, young and old can still enjoy this piece of history!

Please let me know how I can help.

This is an atrocious act of self indulgent politicians, who would rather end a historical venue than clean up their own PERSONAL binges to the deficit. Best I not continue, as this is one of my fav rants - politicians and spending of OUR money!  I am not a Detroit native, but travel there to see this and the conservatory, the zoo, and other cultural sites.. and had hopes to take my grandchildren there as well.  Sad day for me to hear of this NATIONAL treasure being closed after a hundred years of operation!  I hope it can be turned around and SHAME on those that can't find a meager $500,000 to keep it open...WHERE ARE OUR PHILANTHROPISTS! This is SURELY a tax write off!!

I feel that The Belle Isle Aquarium has not been marketed properly for many years this is why the aquarium is not and has not been bringing in the revenue that it once has.

I will be sorry to see it go. I would love for this to be a thriving place that I could take my granddaughter to visit.

I'll be praying for something wonderful to happen regarding the Belle Isle Aquarium.

Please save the treasure of Belle Isle. The Belle Isle Aquarium of course is the treasure.  The aquarium is an educational family orientated place to visit and learn for all ages.   

In order to save the aquarium charge an admission fee.  Why haven't they done that before.  



This should not happen! This is one of the most important things that Detroit has to offer.  Let's re-market the Aquarium and bring some money in and not close this beautiful place.  There has to be other ways.  No one has looked at the books or even tried to establish other ways to keep it open.  Shame on Detroit!!!

One of my best friends, my grandmother, took my cousins and I to Belle Isle and the gardens of flowers and aquarium and rivers edge to watch the ships from around the world, often .  I took my children and now that my grandchildren are old enough I want to be able to take them often.  Please help us to help you keep the aquarium open. Let our super bowl visitors be able to enjoy and take home  praise of this marvelous aquarium in our friendly city, Detroit.

We need to keep it, its amazing!

the aquarium is American history, And Michigan History. We can lost it

keep it open!

I have so many memories of the Aquarium as a little kid.

Please don't take away an experience!

This is the only chance some inner-city children get exposed to such a place.

We need more aquariums, and this one is fantastic. Leave it alone!

Tell me how I can help.

I took a field trip there a few years back, and I loved it...(and I didn't even want to go...!)  Please keep this treasure open!

I have been here many times. It is a tradition and legacy.

Take money from the casinos. Closing the aquarium would be a terrible thing for Detroit.

If Detroit closes the aquarium, that just puts one more "pot hole" in Detroit. Since hockey season has been cancelled this season, the Tigers suck, and the Lions are somewhat good. The city is decapitated, and you can't go into the city without feeling you're going to have someone mug or shoot you. There is hardly anything left to go into Detroit for. KEEP THE AQUARIUM OPEN!!!

Hi, I would like to help.

Save the Belle Isle Aquarium! One of Detroit's finest parks should not be allowed to languish. Consider the river, the skyline views, the greenhouse, all crown jewels for our city.

A friend of mine wrote to me about your project to save the Aquarium. After having seen your website I am really impressed of what you are doing. I wish you success in the project. I live in Poland, in the region of Upper Silesia. We have a huge park here, one of the largest facilities of its kind in Poland. Every year there is a danger it will be closed due to the lack of money. Thus I understand what you feel. Keep trying!

Let's not let another glorious Detroit institution fall to ruin!

This is absolutely horrible that they would even think of closing such a treasured institution. Shame on them.

Come On Detroit. Start acting like the major U.S. City you want to be treated like. Put your money where your mouth is.
Keep the aquarium open.

The City of Detroit should be a place people want to go for Art and Science.  I refuse to believe that the Aquarium is not on the list of attractions for the Super Bowl and Baseball All-Star game.

The aquarium is too important a part of Detroit's history, not to mention its future, for it to be closed.

Please retain the wonderful Belle Isle Aquarium that is a treasured memory for so many and such a beautiful opportunity to foster eco-friendly attitudes. We need more things like this in Detroit.

Don't close the aquarium!

I remember growing up and having my dad take me to the aquarium, just like his dad did for him.  We have to keep things like that going. Also, the city of Detroit has gone down the drain as it is, why would we get rid of one of the good things that the area has left.

Please don't let them close the aquarium.  It  would be travesty.

I have legal resources.   We need to file a motion for temporary restraining order.  We will need affidavits of the marine biologists saying the animals will be harmed by being moved, etc. and there is no adequate remedy at law.   We need to ask for a Show Cause hearing for the court to decide whether they want to enter a preliminary injunction against closing the facility.  Meanwhile we will need to find funding.   The person who will file the matter will have to be someone on behalf of the "fish".   It would have to be a City of Detroit resident and the case filed in Wayne County Circuit Court.     This needs to be done now.    Who can I talk to that can help facilitate this?  

I really enjoyed the aquarium when I went. 

The aquarium is one of my favorite places. I've taken many of my nieces and nephews in the last 10 years. It's so pretty and CHEAP!! I would have gladly paid more. Is that what it would take? Many friends from out of town are taken on my 'favorite places' tour, and the aquarium and conservatory are two great places to be proud of as Detroiters. I felt ill when I heard it is in danger!! How sad!!! 

Detroit needs this! The city is poised for a come back, don't take this away now! Belle Isle will never go anywhere if one of it's few remaining attractions closes.

What type of sick atrocity would occur if the Belle Isle Aquarium close? I mean, this great establishment has been here for 100 years.  And now we, the collective social we, have decided in our grand wisdom to close this aquatic paradise?  No, this is a crime.  And it should not be.  With all of the wasteful spending that occurs in this haven that we so lovingly call Michigan, we just shut down an educational facility.  I don't agree at all with this sick plan and must detest it to the fullest degree.  So, to summarize, do not let this occur for it ranks with the Holocaust.

I love that aquarium! it makes me happy, and especially reminds me of spending time with my grandma and mom too! 100 yrs of memories is something u cant throw away!!!

Don't do it!! 

Instead of constantly tearing down our History and trying to rebuild something else that will not work, why don't we preserve what we have so our children and grandchildren can enjoy some of the same things we did. Does anyone remember the commercial where the parent was showing their child the spot where they were married and it was a gas station, but the parent was trying to explain how there was a beautiful church there at one time. Come on, in Europe 2000 yr old building are still being used on a daily basis, why must we be a throw away society. Restore it and enjoy it.

It breaks my heart to see this happening (I grew up at 7 Mile and Woodward and visited Belle Isle many times a year). I've returned in recent years as a volunteer for HUG Belle Isle Days.  I'm certain the 2,000+ volunteers that show up each year would help in any way they can to keep the Aquarium open.

The last time I was there, I was happy to see that the ""money eating fish"" was still alive.  It's in the first or second tank on the right when you walk in (I'm thinking it's a Grouper).  If you hold a dollar bill up at the tank, he tries to eat it.  It's pretty amazing.

Let me know where to send my donation to keep the Aquarium going strong.

The aquarium has been one of the most memorable places of my life.  With all of our local attractions disappearing, not much is left to bring back the allure of Detroit (and southeastern Michigan for that matter).  The aquarium should not be lost.

My parents have been taking my 9 year old son to Belle Isle since he was an infant.  They are frequent visitors to the aquarium.  He was upset when he saw on the news that the aquarium would be closing and asked if he could go one more time before it closes.  So, today my parents are taking him.  I hope it isn't going to be his last visit as he truly loves seeing those fish! 

The aquarium should be looked at in the context of the whole of Belle Isle. This is one of Detroit's greatest resources and the city should be investing in it to create a stronger tourist attraction that will help bring more revenue to the city.  The aquarium building itself is a wonderful, unique treasure. The state is trying to retain its character and create Cool Cities and the aquarium should be a key resource in that effort, not shut down. Direct the superbowl crowd to the aquarium and have a big donations bin and membership cards available.  

I think Belle Isle is one of the places that is an entertainment for those who are financially in need. It is a place of beauty and education; the aquarium is very educational as well as attractive.

It is criminal that such a beautiful, historic asset to the City of Detroit could be closed down!  It is a real indicator of Kwame's lackadaisical management and Detroit's depressing, continuing decline that there are not ample funds to operate such an important cultural establishment.

Please don't close the aquarium!  We visit annually and have always enjoyed the visit!  

Why do they want to close one of the country's oldest aquariums right before the super bowl and the other events coming to the city?

Please don't close the aquarium.  This is another location that the city of Detroit has to make it a center of arts and education like Chicago and new York.  closing the aquarium is another step in the death of Detroit.

don't close

My son really enjoys anything science related and he loves to visit the aquarium.

Please keep this Detroit institution open. We have lost the zoo on Belle Isle. We cannot lose the aquarium as well. Find the money. Get rid of the waste in the city and keep hope alive for our kids!!! Keep the aquarium open!!

Detroit is already lacking far behind most major cities when it comes to cultural activities for both young and old.  My five year old son and I are deeply saddened by the news to close the aquarium.  We have visited about 20 times in his short life and is his favorite thing to do.  I find it amazing how much he has learned during our visits.  It would take the average persons years to learn so much from books alone.  With the ongoing mismanagement in all areas by Detroit's current administration they should be ashamed of themselves for even considering closing one (of few) of this city's true gems.  You have our support to help fight this ridiculous decision.   

It's a memory I have from my youth.  It's wonderfully historic and nostalgic. I think Detroit will be making a mistake to remove it from the Island.

The Belle Isle Aquarium and its staff provide essential leadership in the preservation of the freshwater mussel diversity of southeastern Michigan. The decision to close the facility is a tragic misplacement of priorities of the Detroit Zoo. The zoo should not expect the support of the local conservation community if it refuses to acknowledge the good work of its institutions that actually contribute towards the protection of local native biodiversity.

Why doesn't the Detroit Zoo follow the example of the Toledo Zoo in its work to protect the Karner Blue Butterfly?

I think the aquarium should remain open and receive the support it deserves from the Detroit Zoo.

The aquarium is an historic institution.

When relatives come from out of town we always visit belle isle and the aquarium.

It is unique...may be old...but deserves to remain open and renovated.  Nothing like it can ever be duplicated.

Please DON'T. I was just there this early fall. It is beautiful & well worth keeping open. I am also on my City's Historical Commission. These great landmarks are to valuable to lose.

I visit the Aquarium once or twice a year.  I think it is a very good attraction for Belle Isle.  I think the Island needs to build up the Zoo, the Aquarium, the Conservatory, the Giant Slide, the Maritime Museum, the Casino and other areas of the Island.  I know that the admission fees isn't enough & the city is facing budget cuts.  But we are killing Belle Isle.  Belle Isle has so much potential.  I think that all the activities on the Island can draw people & not just the heavy partiers one weekday nights that close off the Island.  The police have to stop traffic from going on the Island at about 7:00 p.m. during the summers, because people are out partying, parking illegally & blocking traffic.  I know that in May every year people come out for a few days to clean up the Island and throw on a few coats of paint.  But, the entire Island needs an overhaul & more publicity.  Closing everything down is just sending the families away & brining out more partiers.  Fix up & open up the Casino, not as a gambling place, but bring in events.  Open the Zoo back up.  Advertise more what Belle Isle offers.  Bring in more sports events to the softball and baseball fields.  I don't know if leagues compete there, but if not, start.  Offer more cycling and running events around the island.  Beef up police patrols to keep the streets open on weekday evenings.  Fix up the athletic club.  Run summer camps at the club.  Offer sports camps.  

It's a classic.  It needs to be kept open

I went to the aquarium as a child and now take my 2 children to the aquarium. Belle Isle is a wonderful resource and should be tended to better. Take away the Aquarium and it will be utilized even less. 

There has been a lot of hard work and dedication put into this aquarium.  It is necessary.

I think they should keep it open move it somewhere else or keep it where it is and spend the money to fix it up cause I bet there will be people that have gone there with there kids and I'm sure there now going there with there grand kid or maybe even there great grand kids it would be a shame to close down something that's been around for over 100 years.

I often went to the aquarium when I was in grade school for field trips.  Detroit needs to learn to preserve their historical sites not destroy them.  It's not only historical, but educational!!!!And really, what seems to be left on the island?

I was taken on a school tour when I was a young boy in elementary School lot of cool stuff went back a few times as an adult to see the feeding of the eels.

Such a historical building and a great source of interest for many Detroit's should not be closed

I am not local by any means, a friend sent me an alert about this issue. I truly hope that you keep The Aquarium open. As the first Aquarium in North America, there is a rich history here. Please do not close this family friendly venue.

Isn't this one of those places that helps make Detroit Detroit?  How much can be lost before Detroit isn't?  

the belle isle aquarium is a home to many fish, and many people love to come see them!!!  this place can not be closed down.  when I grow up and have kids I want to be able to take them there the witness the magic as well!!!

Detroit has got to be one of the dirtiest grossest places ever, and one of the most beautiful things it has you want to close down?!?!?!?!  that's insane!!!  the belle isle aquarium is the most fantastic place I've ever been.  I mean I like the Detroit zoo and all but moving the aquarium there is insane.  there is no need for it the aquarium is fine where its at!

A couple years ago a friend I was visiting in Detroit area took me to Belle Isle Aquarium since I love aquariums.  I've been to many aquariums in the past few years and Belle Isle is one of the most memorable! I'd hope to go back to see you in a future visit.  I hope you stay open! I greatly enjoyed my visit!!! 

I'm not a member of the community but this Aquarium and others like it are essential in a community. Communities need places like this...its what sets them apart from other communities. It makes me sad when respected staples of our communities have to put up the for sale sign but corporate giants like Wal-Mart survive:(

With Detroit "trying" to better its image as a world class city, why would you close Americas oldest aquarium located on historic Belle Isle, do we really need to spend the money you save on yet another taste fest at Hart Plaza, or the Snow Blast? Take care of what you already have, find ways to make it a viable option, merely closing it isn't going to help anyone is it ? We don't have very many institutions of that caliber in Detroit, and your wisdom in a financial crunch is to just take away all the good things instead of cleaning up city hall , the school board, and all the rest of the thieving jerks who steal in the name of "progress" . Its time to clean house people...Detroit is the only major city in which people pay a premium to live OUT of ! Wonder why .... because over the last 25 years its been murdered and hacked to pieces , save the history then you can build new ....its time to step up people ....STEP UP and stop being so selfish . Our kids deserve to see that aquarium , if not at Belle Isle then where ? Chicago ? nice.

Please keep the aquarium open on Belle Isle.

The closing of the aquarium will produce one more decaying historical landmark and is a testament to the corrupt and self-serving politicians who run this city into the ground continually.  

Cultural icons, such as the Belle Isle Aquarium, must remain open if the City of Detroit is ever going to lose the Rust Belt image. The World is coming, let's not close the doors on them and the oldest aquarium in the nation! Detroit has the potential to become a world class city, but not with world class mistakes like closing the aquarium. This short term solution will only compound the city's image problem and add to the long term demise of the city. Detroit deserves better!

Please, whatever it takes to keep the aquarium open. Belle Isle no longer has a zoo, and this is one of the few ways for Detroit kids and adults to experience nature and history.


Please don't close the Aquarium!!!!!
what else does the community have to offer for families that need a place to educate their children. . 

Close the 100+ year old aquarium? What a loss for the City of Detroit. The Detroit Zoo must allocate monies for this historic aquarium.  This aquarium is very kid friendly.  I remember visiting it when I was a child. What a wonderful way  for a child to learn about aquatic life is it unique setting. Surely there is some money for this treasure.

The aquarium is one of the bright stars in the firmament of Belle Isle.  Please keep this Albert Kahn designed treasure.

I am a teacher for Detroit Public schools. I believe it is important to keep this here for the children. I believe it is important because of the work they are doing with the endangered species.

The work with the conservation of endangered species is much larger than any short term budget shortfall, what with Navigators and all.  As a teacher of Detroit youth, I can say that my daughter has visited this facility many times in her student years, and the same should be said of countless other students.  The city has done a poor job of popularizing this venue over the years, and could quadruple the attendance with little effort.  I have never seen a promotion in 37 years with the Detroit Board.  What gives????  my daughter enjoyed her revisit on Saturday, and such a tradition could be cultivated easily amongst other Detroiters with some foresight.  This is just one brainstorm idea.  There should be thousands of others.

My family enjoys going to Belle Isle not only for the aquarium, also for the conservatory!

please don't close it. Its a cool place.

I am a developmental and educational psychologist at the University of Michigan.  My main concern is that there are fewer and fewer resources in the city that inner city residents can afford and access.  A great deal of research shows that attending museums, libraries, theater and the like can improve students' academic achievement by stimulating their minds.  The BIA is a great way to do this while enjoying a family reunion or picnic. 

I would hate to see the aquarium close.  It was a favorite weekend outing for our children, that didn't cost a fortune!  I urge Detroit to seek other methods for cutting their budget.

Please do not close the Aquarium!  So much of what makes Detroit special has been lost due to neglect or budget cuts, do not let this treasure go the way of the Boblo boats and the train station.  If we want a city to be proud of we have to put our resources into things we can all support.

  It is a Beautiful place:}}and it is great for little ones and for every body:}} and on bell I a real long time ago there was a biking tour!! and that was really fun!!!!! and another time when the boat races were on we stayed  to watch them on bell Isle:}}} and just a wonderful place for in joyment:}}}}}}}} so please don't close:{} Det needs a place like that:}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} lets keep our fingers crossed:}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I love the Aquarium.  Its a great place to go when you want to visit Detroit.  It just has a very nice feel about it and it would be simply AWFUL if the city closes it down.  

The Belle Isle Aquarium is my childhood represented in a building. To close it would be to yet again shutter another Detroit historical landmark and to yet again prove people right when they say that Detroit is indeed a dead city. 

Let's explore all options to keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open.  It would truly be a senseless loss to allow it to close.  I applaud FOBIA's efforts to take this on.  Count me in!!!

I just visited the aquarium for the first time yesterday afternoon (2/20). I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and couldn't help but be amused by the wonderful reactions of the cub scout troop that happened to be there at the same time as I. These children were truly engaged by the multiple species of fish and their excitement was contagious! I have lived in the metro-Detroit area for my entire life and I can't imagine such a jewel of Detroit being closed! 

I don't know what to say. I feel that for it to get to this point anything we say or do won't make a difference. I mean they must be some real boneheads if I have to explain to them why the aquarium should remain open. How can I convince someone about it that thinks the Superbowl, expanded Cobo and demolishing the cement towers by Chene park is more important? Why do they want everyone to come and see this crappy city anyway? What little left that's good about it is rapidly disappearing. Why don't we close the DIA, the libraries, the Charles Wright museum, oh hell, everything else too while were at it? That'll save money! Why don't I just move out of this messy, ignorant city?

Please do not close the aquarium.  I was a long time resident of Detroit and it would be a shame to all to close it.  Beautify Belle Isle, not close it.  

Belle Isle Aquarium is one of Detroit's jewels. It is a terrific public education forum, and is a repository for many endangered fishes under breeding programs. The endangered fish breeding and mussel work that the staff of Belle Isle does surpasses that of many of the largest aquariums in the world. Even under these tremendously difficult budgetary times, it would be an inconceivable loss to shutter Belle Isle when it is providing so many public services. 

The aquarium must stay open!  In a downtown with few incentives for visitors from either out of state or its own suburbs, getting rid  of an attraction with history and appeal like the BIA would be another mistake.  If it costs $4 for admission the price could be raised to help fray some of the costs.  Or an even better idea would be to stop paying the Detroit Tigers $400,000 per year for maintenance on Tiger Stadium when there's a community group willing to do it for free.  That would free up the money to keep the aquarium open and be a much better exercise of fiscal responsibility.

My kids, ages 7 and 4, love the aquarium.  Would be wonderful to keep it open and certainly sad to see another part of Detroit disappear forever.

The oldest Aquarium in the country deserves better.  Please keep the Aquarium and get rid of the Mayors overpaid 'klingons'!  

Save the Aquarium

Please keep the aquarium open, Detroit needs as many learning instruments as possible.

Please work with the concerned citizens to keep the aquarium open for all the important reasons that have been given to you. 

charge a fee to enter the island.

I would be happy to help with your efforts.

Detroit needs this (not a new one) Aquarium to stay open.  We need our history to stay intact, no matter how much money is costs to keep it open. 

I'd be happy to help with your efforts.  I wanted to bring my third graders there as we're studying endangered animals.

It saddens me to think that the aquarium is to be closed. It's the last jewel on the island. Will it become just another burned up building on the island? I think it's about time for Detroiters to start taking pride in their city, starting with the Mayor and the city council. If they don't have any pride in their own city, what example does it set for Detroit's youth? I can only see the closure of the aquarium as another blow to Detroit's educational system. Young children especially need places like the aquarium to help them gain a sense curiosity and creativity. Please lets not sell our sons and daughters future for a football game.

This aquarium is a staple in Detroit, and needs to remain open as one of the few places city kids can see life beyond where they live-DON'T CLOSE IT!

Just visited the aquarium and there is no reason why this tourist attraction should be shutdown.

KEEP THE AQUARIUM OPEN! So many people love it and want to have it around.

I'm a young guy who just learned that Detroit HAS an aquarium! I was in Chicago this past week & visited their aquarium which is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm not a big "sea" person to begin with. Detroit NEEDS to keep its history and attraction. They also need to promote it more. Unfortunately, this is just another example of the incompetence of the government there over the last 50 years which adds to the suburbs ignoring Detroit's problems! Detroit wants young people to move downtown. Why would we move down when they can't manage anything??? Shutting down the aquarium is just another example of the sad state the city is in and I just hope someone will be good enough to use their own personal fortune to keep the place alive.

The Aquarium is one of Detroit's architectural treasures _AND_ my 5yr old nephew's favorite place to spend time on the weekends with his parents. The electric eel and alligator gar are his favorites. The aquarium offer the children of Michigan a contemplative space to marvel at the wonders of nature _WITHOUT_ the Disneyland-ish marketing/branding mental pollution that is plaguing the future generation's mind control.

Seems we could keep the tanks open by just cutting back on operating hours and raising entry fees a bit....that, and, perhaps some key donations from individuals and corps.


We need to preserve, not destroy, what's unique about Detroit. 

Detroit can't afford to lose another beloved landmark!

Why lose another of Detroit's historical landmarks to save a few bucks? Sell some of the Lincoln Navigators, Harley Davidson motorcycles and get rid of some of Kwamie's security forces and we could keep something that's been around for generations. 

My oldest memories from chidhood are of Belle Isle Aquarium, I lived in the project and it was free or very cheap to visit Belle Isle, I feel it should still be available to the City of Detroit.

I think it would be a disgrace to close down the aquarium. Detroit "spends" so much money on things involving cleaning up the Mayor's messes, they might as well spend some on something worthwhile.

I truly believe that the City of Detroit's Mayor, and city council, can cut their salary, budget and spending to the extent that the Aquarium could be renovated into a state of the art aquarium. I am willing to volunteer time to help this cause.

There are other alternatives to closing the Aquarium.  There is so much history that will be lost if they close it.  This is one of the gems of Island.  I used to work at the Detroit Zoo, and feel that the Belle Isle exhibits are just as important.  They should not rush into a decision.  I'm not 100% knowledgeable about the situation, but I do know that I am not in favor of this closure...

My husband and I have spent many wonderful hours at the aquarium with our children.  Now I would like to keep this opportunity for my grandchildren.

I don't believe they need to tear down the old one, to build a new one.

If they need the land for development=build around it."

History is important as is the DIA and other land marks.  Must remain open and cut in extra overtime and cars etc.

I moved out of the city (Eastern Market) a couple years back, but I return often for baseball, food and of course Belle Isle.  Nothing beats a quick round of 9 holes followed by a stroll through the aquarium (and a few more years back, the zoo too).

Many of my, and my parent's childhood memories include trips to Belle Isle and the Aquarium. Let's keep it for the coming generations to enjoy as well.

In a day and age when Detroit is in desperate need of revitalization, why destroy yet another historical landmark and attraction in the city.  I first visited the aquarium as a child in the 1960's with my family.   We spent many wonderful hours touring the aquarium and learning about freshwater and marine life.   The City administration has got to realize that an excellent way to revitalize Detroit is to preserve it's history and nostalgia.  They have already closed Tiger Stadium, and destroyed the old shopping district when Hudsons was demolished.  People long for and miss the "good old days" when a trip into the city included a visit to these lost landmarks.  Preserving only the Theater district, and building new sporting facilities and restaurants is not the answer.  Preserving and promoting educational and family oriented attractions will keep generations of urban and suburban residents coming to Detroit.     

This is insane.  Why did they spend $600,000 to make repairs to the "infrastructure", only to decide to shut it down three years later?  Why say it's "too small" and something designed 100 years ago doesn't work as well as a tourist attraction.  EXCUSE ME!  100 Years ago it was big enough to support a million visitors!!  Ten years ago it was able to handle over 115,00 visitors.  If you properly market it, advertise it and honestly support it, the crowds will come.  I wonder how much money will be spent on the three day Superbowl next year will be coming from the shutdown of the aquarium?  This could have been a exception tourist attraction and place to visit for many of the thousands of visitors who will be in Detroit next year for the Superbowel....The timing of this shutdown is questionable.  In addition, such short notice is questionable as well.  Designed perhaps to prevent concerned citizens enough time to mount a defensive against this attack on the city?  We all know this is more than a building - it is our history - it is a learning tool - it is memories - it is an architectural jewel and it will be a crime to not find a way to salvage it for the generations yet to come.

Shameful, very shameful that a 101 year old rock of Detroit will be closed down because the city can not handle it's business. I remember my first time walking though those doors. I'm 35 now, and it sadness me to know my son who is due in May will never see this wonderful place. This sucks and the entire state of Michigan should be up in arms!!!

KEEP IT OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!

It is truly heartbreaking that it has come to this.  

This aquarium is a valued memory of my childhood. It cannot be allow to close. -bt


I have never been to the aquarium cause I had always though it was closed.. if you guys would just make it known that its open and you  my have events that are going on there people would probably go.. make it worth while or people to go and pay a fee to go  in and see what its all about. this would be a nice place for kids and even adults to go and learn about different kinds of fish. I hope its still open by the time I go which is very little time.. I think that this place needs to stay open.

This is the coolest attraction I've seen in the city thus far...keep the Aquarium open it means so much to everyone. I would never want to see this historic aquarium close. however, if it does, I am currently accepting any marine coral or fish. should that ever happen."


why does Detroit keep ruining all it has left!!! keep this open, a new aquarium is not needed! treasure your treasures! "

Please keep this treasure open, it is something that could bring Detroit back to the great city it once was.

Keep the aquarium open!!!!!

Detroit needs to keep worthwhile attractions as this one, rather than close them, especially considering the age and the historic value (oldest in North America is definitely something). Why don't they concentrate on other spending. 

Belle Isle is somewhere I enjoy taking my out of town friends to, and a place I enjoy spending weekends in the summer.  I don't want to see it close slowly, I want to see it supported.  Please keep the beautiful aquarium open.

With so much focus surrounding Detroit's hosting of SuperBowl XL, I cannot believe that showing the world our lovely abandoned island is even an option.  The surrounding areas along Jefferson have been constantly improving in past years, and the closing of this aquarium would be a major setback.  Will the beautiful Conservatory be next?  My family has visited both recently, and losing the aquarium would give us one less reason to spend our Saturdays (and our money) in the City of Detroit.

Here again the City of Detroit is closing a historical building that people love and visit because the major of Detroit can't control his own personal spending of the city's money for his own benefit. So in his eyes the aquarium is a dent in is own pocket book. They have all ready closed down the zoo... so what else is going to be left on belle isle besides the deer...or is the major going to move them to, to another location. How many more historical places need to be lost..the city needs to do something with their personal spending problems...like the building they are paying for but not using....here is an idea Mr. Major leave the aquarium alone and charge people to visit the island and fix it up...bring back the attractions that used to bring belle isle alive years ago...like the pony rides...maybe you don't remember those days but other people do...by doing this it is ruining family traditions like the one that has been going on in my family for 5 generations now...

I am a member of the Zoo Society.  It is a sad day that this has had to happened.  Yes, I will sign a petition, if there is one. I live in Oakland County, if that matters.


save the fish and Detroit history.

Ready to help

Ghost towne Detroit ! What possible reason would  anyone desire to go into the Motor-City...when all the icons and structures that you love to see are rapidly disappearing...Detroit already is a shadow of it's past glory. Eventually, nobody shall live in Detroit as these crimes against historical icons continue to occur. 

This is just another reason Detroit has such a bad name. the city is taking away all the sites the a dear to the people of Detroit. instead of trying to find a way to save money by destroying this site , the city should be trying to find ways to make the site more productive. Save the fish, Get rid of the scum!!

I cannot believe the city is willing to close this historic facility. Let us not leave another historical building to rot because of a not well thought of solution  or available resources to a problem. I am sure it will be several years before the concept of a new aquarium will come to fruition and hopefully it will be in the city of Detroit. If the city does close this historical monument, I hope it is replaced with something for the community and NOT a restaurant, casino or club!!

Keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open!  Stop closing and tearing down our historic buildings and waste more tax payer dollars by replacing them with new ones!  

The mere consideration of closing the Belle Isle Aquarium is an atrocity. The citizens of Detroit should be outraged at the superficial character that the City is developing.  By dumping so much of their money into temporary glitz to turn a few heads for the Super Bowl, and turning their backs on history and institutions of learning, all they are doing is flaunting their ignorance. All that will be accomplished is the perpetuation of the misconception that sports are more important than education.  What kind of message are they sending to our youth... our future? If something is old, it's not worth saving, not worth fighting for? Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders, let's hope they are wiser than the leadership that's teaching them. The day that they close that facility will be a dark day for the City of Detroit.

I am 52 years old and have been coming to the aquarium a minimum of twice a year for all of those years.  My parents used to bring me now I bring them!!

Don't let Detroit lose another treasure!

Stop the closing!"

How can the Belle Isle Aquarium be expected to get visitors when mention of it is hardly ever made (except to hear of its imminent closing)?  

What's happening must be prevented. To say the least, we don't need another loss of an historic building.  How about re-directing some of that zoo money that goes North? - A resident of Detroit"

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago just celebrated it's 75th.  If Detroit let's this go, it's one step closer to the city imploding.  What ever happened to charging to get on Belle Isle.  What we need to close is the City Council and all their waste.

You MUST keep the aquarium open! This aquarium is not only a historical treasure but a current reason I go to Belle Isle from Detroit suburbs. Surely whatever might be saved in the budget can be cut in other ways! (ie: The Navigator etc) Perhaps if there was more publicity promoting the aquarium! It is a neglected jewel!

The aquarium stands out as one of the really unique and wonderful parts of Detroit.  How about Save the Aquarium lottery tickets?  I would buy some, especially if the prize was a lifetime pass to get in the aquarium.

I stand 100% behind the efforts of FOBIA and hope that the aquarium will be able to stay open and attract people comparable to the 1995 figures reported...and higher!

I'm so sick of everything closing and going under that the people/taxpayers use.  Our "CLOWN COUNCIL" with our wanta be younger than he is Mayor ought to all get their pays cut considerably or none at all.  I thought people got paid to do a job?? It seems they get paid to make everything worse. None of them have a clue!  And probably don't care as long as they get theirs.

I have a great idea!  Why not get someone from Ford Field to donate Superbowl tickets to raffle off to raise money to save the aquarium!  I bet that lots of people would buy them!

People won't come to the City of Detroit if there is nothing to see!  We'll add our voices to the "squeaky wheel".

Shutting everything down that cost the city a little extra money is not the answer to it's financial dilemmas.  It always seems to be at the expense of our history.  Can't the closure wait until the state of the art aquarium is opened to close this one.

I'll pledge $50.00/year to help keep it open, but I'll only cough up the money after city council agrees to keep it open for that year. i.e. I don't want the money going to buy Kwame's wife a car.

Save the Fish!!

Belle Isle should be the jewel of Detroit as Ontario Place is a mecca of activity and lucrative draw to Toronto.  If a small fee for entrance to this wonderful resource it would serve to support our beloved aquarium and help to add other functions and activities which would bring in additional revenue.  It is a shame we all cannot any longer benefit from the beauty and proximity to downtown Detroit.  $2.oo a carload and you have a beginning--not much compared to the price of a movie, cell phone or fast food.  How about canoeing as I remember in my parents album and ice skating in the canal

This a unique gem that no other city in the country has...If we want "cool cities," we should start by preserving what we already have.

We need to keep Detroit alive, therefore we should not be closing these things.  This is something I enjoyed as a child and I want my child and grandchildren to enjoy and learn from it also.

We have not visited the aquarium yet, but plan to do so in the future, as our young children enjoy fish and their habitats/tanks.  We live in Saginaw, MI.

Why close one of the greatest aquariums around? It has so much history and culture there.

I have enjoyed the aquarium for years and would like my grandchild to do the same.

This beautiful and valuable resource should be maintained and preserved NOT closed and destroyed.  

Lets keep it. It's historical. 

The aquarium is rad.  It needs to stay!

The aquarium is too valuable to the City of Detroit.  I know someone who is trying to sell a $25,000 Navigator who should be the first to make a donation

We've lost the Nature stuff, the Zoo and now the aquarium is being threatened.  The island will soon be empty of wondrous attractions.  I hope we can save this aquarium - we are the oldest in the country and that should be taken into consideration.  

  Has anyone thought of our city's ultimate ""plan"" to empty Belle Isle of, not only the attractions I've listed --- also the canoeing is long gone and a pavilion was torn down,  many buildings are in disrepair -- okay, I don't believe we want to follow in the footsteps of the lamented Bob Lo Island.  I also feel a secret plan is in the offing somewhere down the line.    A lot of money could be made for the city because it is choice property for the right developer. Think about it!

  If a fee was charged for entrance to the island - it might work.  People pay for many types of entertainment.  Charging a fee, it seems, would help -- if it is true that we would save as much money as we have been told.

  I could go on and on - and I might in another e-mail.  I hope this message helps to not close down another drawing card to future city conventions.

  As an afterthought:  Would you like to see Belle Isle turned into homes in a subdivision - like Bob Lo?


I have been going to the BIA for as long as I can remember.  As a recent graduate of Lake Superior State University, with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management, it saddens me that the city feels the need to close it.  It is such a vital, historical and educational part of the city of Detroit, not to mention the conservation of wildlife species.  I would love to get as much information about helping to save the BIA.  I could also get the information to LSSU which has a Fisheries and Wildlife Club and Biology Club.  I'm sure LSSU would like to help out as much as they can.  Please contact me ASAP about this.  Thank you very much.

please keep the aquarium open, it is so cool and educational, let us keep some pride!!

I think that the Aquarium is a wonderful and essential part of our Great Lakes history. I love it as an adult as much as I did as a kid. It recently was one of the first stops on the Belle Isle tour I gave, to my recently relocated significant other, as part of his orientation to the Detroit area. I think its closing would signify another serious loss to what should be a thriving downtown area.  Other major cities in the Midwest have figured out not only how to keep there Aquariums open but to expand and use them as major tourist attractions.... once again I think the city is heading in the wrong direction for true revitalization. If nothing else funding both Private and Public should be sought jointly,  even if it means co-owner ship with a major corporation. I think as many options should be looked at before one more Landmark of Detroit is nothing but a melancholy memory. 

We need to keep it opened. It's part of our community.

I'll be writing a letter tomorrow from a personal and professional perspective.  I'm an avid scuba diver and scuba instructor, and am also the Director of MichNet at Merit Network, Inc. -- the Internet Service Provider for the state universities and many of the K-12 schools, libraries, museums, libraries and other non-profits in the state.

If the city is ever going to come back- closing our cultural sites is definitely a step in the wrong direction.  Most cities are building aquariums not closing them.  Detroit has the oldest continuously running aquarium in the US- let's not end that.  It is small but on just the right scale for children.

Over the years I have visited the aquarium many times...my best memory is of watching with delight and joy the eels electrify the wires in their tank. Wow! I have always remembered that image...I hope that type of image can continue.  It is a wonderful intimate treasure that must be saved.  

Don't take it away!!!!!!

I hope this jewel will remain open! It is an irreplaceable part of the island and Detroit.

save the aquarium please 

There are many ways the aquarium can stay open offer in the summer classes so our children can learn about the fish that live there. Many people like myself didn't know this place existed because I haven't lived here long. The city doesn't need to lose another gem like the train station was left neglected.

The belle isle aquarium was my son's favorite place to go. He died at 4 yrs old to cancer. I want this to stay open! Tell me what to do! what about getting grants?

Good job!  Please keep me informed!

We love the Aquarium, and would miss it terribly if it closed.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is a beautiful building, filled with aquatic plants and animals that filled me with wonder as a child and curiosity as a young man. I would be devastated if I were to learn that I would be unable to take my children and grandchildren to this marvelous place. Please, don't destroy it.

Pretty soon there wont be any reason to come into Detroit.

How about laying off a few bodyguards?  "

I am glad someone is involved in this. 

Wish I would have known about this group earlier.  I have been calling, e-mailing and even visiting office of FOBI and have had no response.  The web site has not been updated with this info either.  ANYWAY!  Now that I know you exist, I would like info re helping in anyway possible if it is not too late.  We simply cannot let this administration take this wonderful place away from us, our children and grandchildren...The fact that the zoo director and city officials are suggesting and planning this closure shows that they have little or no interest in the history of our city.  And without history, we have no city, no roots, no hope for the future.  The hope for the future of Detroit does not lie in the multi million dollar buildings we propose to build.  It lies in preserving the past and maintaining the small but glorious things that made us unique.  It is decisions like this plan to close the aquarium that is destroying what is left of Detroit, and thus destroying what could be.    

More people would come down to the aquarium - and pay admission - if they felt safe and if they knew more about what hours the aquarium was open, etc.


The aquarium is such a wonderful place for our children and families!  Keep it going!

Historical places, especially things that are the first of their kind need to be kept open and this is one of them. It may not be the biggest, or necessarily the best, but it's the first and the oldest and that's reason enough to keep it open. That's aside from all the other reasons to keep it open.

Many pleasant memories come to mind when I think of the aquarium.  It's one of Detroit's true historic "gems." 

 I am continually surprised and dismayed by Detroit City officials and their lack of respect for history and historical structures.  And, their lack of concern for residents and their preferences.  The people are the city, not the elected officials.

The aquarium does not need to become part of the ""throw-away"" society we live in.  Keep it open!"


Yes, I will help!!!  When, where or how much?  I would be willing to contribute 100 dollars annually.  Can we distribute flyers asking for financial help? If yes, I would be willing to pass them out in my community.  whatever it will take to save my son's educational future.

Historic Structures that continue to provide pleasure to only small numbers of people are worth saving until the economy and the political and social environment catch up to realize their intrinsic value.

If 1500 signed a petition, maybe those same people will be willing to become "members" at $20-30 each?? I would.

Please keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open.  If necessary, have cars pay a fee to come onto the Island.  This might solve a number of problems. Thank you

Great Scott !  what's happening to Detroit ?  I spent the first 60 years of 

my life living in Windsor and made many,

many trips to Belle Isle (the jewel of 

the Detroit River) and one of the high-

lights was a visit to the aquarium.

And now it's going to be shut down ???

Shame, shame on you Detroit - how low]

can you sink ?

I take my children to the Aquarium at least once a month. It is a main reason I purchased a family pass for the Zoo. Closing it would be a major loss for our great city.

I'm so happy that closure was suspended until further funding. The aquarium is one of the few remnants that represents the historical Detroit. If the city cares about making this city great then, we need to preserve our cities structures and monuments rather than abandon them or tear them down. If there is any way I can help, please let me know.

A beautiful, historical, living testament to the greatness of this city needs to be preserved.  It's not always about "new and improved".  Let's keep what's best!

Many of us have great memories of visiting here in our childhood..let others enjoy it as well!!

my youth is quickly fading, Detroit does a poor job of keeping it's history alive like other cities. the aquarium is beautiful. The problem with Detroit is it can't pull people from the suburbs like other cities, you just can't hop onto a train and spend the day in the city. Unless mass transit brings people to the city, the aquarium and all else will be lost in the not too distant future. No Superbowl will remedy the decay & decline of a once beautiful city

I truly believe the city needs the aquarium for historical reasons and educational.  I am tired of hearing people unwilling to visit the city because of lack of things to do compared to other big cities.  We need all the culture and attractions we can get.  Belle Isle is a beautiful park.  It is sad the zoo is gone, and now the aquarium. To get people to return to Belle Isle, you need to make it attractive to others to come.  It needs to be a place for locals, tourists and metro-Detroiters to travel to.  The loss of the aquarium would be a shame.  It is a historical site.  This is an old city- we need to preserve it's history.  And with the Superbowl next year- we need to keep all attractions in tact.

These types of institutions are a part of the history of our country. They are to be honored and cherished and upheld as historically significant contributions to education and the betterment of our society as a whole. Trashing a monument such as this because of some "lack of funds", is not only a statement for the case of selfishness and lack of compassion, but also an insult to anyone who ever spent a moment of their childhood into his building.  The Aquarium Revolution Will Not BE Televised!

We must keep the Belle Isle Aquarium open for at least another 101 years...at least.

The price of admission could & should be raised.