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Fans of aquarium race against clock
Advocates for Belle Isle facility will hold last-minute events to fight April 3 closure.

By Judy Lin / The Detroit News

Sunday, March 27, 2005

DETROIT -- Fish fans have until April 3 to visit the Belle Isle Aquarium before it closes due to budget cuts.

And that means one more week of last-ditch lobbying for those who oppose the shut-down.

Friends of the Belle Isle Aquarium is holding a string of events this week aimed at keeping the aquarium, off Jefferson in Detroit, open. For more than a month, members of the group have been rallying support and collecting donations.

The group will hold a rally at noon Tuesday in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. On Friday, a $100-per-plate benefit dinner and auction at the Detroit Yacht Club will begin at 6:30 p.m. A final rally is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in front of the aquarium.

The city says it will save more than $500,000 annually from the aquarium closing. Kate Alan, president of the Friends of the Belle Isle Aquarium, said a boost in attendance combined with donations have yielded more than $80,000. She says the group has even received a commitment from roofers to make repairs at the aquarium.

For information about Friends of the Belle Isle Aquarium, visit

You can reach Judy Lin at (313) 222-2072 or