Shiver on River to aid the Belle Isle Aquarium
ZACHARY GORCHOW • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • FEBRUARY 7, 2009
|The public is invited to
the annual celebration of Belle Isle at the 10th
Shiver on the River today with entertainment and
the opening of the island's venues, including
the shuttered aquarium.
City officials closed the then 101-year-old
aquarium in 2005 as part of budget cuts, but the
nonprofit Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium has
tended to the facility and the remaining fish
that were not relocated.
Also open will be the Anna Scripps Whitcomb
Conservatory, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, the
Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Belle Isle
Casino, where most of the events will take
place. The event is free.
"It's just a wonderful accumulation of
everything you could think about with that
island," said Murray Gula of the Friends of
Belle Isle Aquarium, one of the sponsors.
The group is working on a business plan for the
aquarium that would allow it to reopen the
aquarium through private and grant monies, Gula
Eventually, the group will need a lease
agreement with the city to allow it to operate
The group is raffling off a new car, hotel stay
and dinner at the event to raise money for its
"A lot of good things can happen with this if we
just keep pushing forward," Gula said.
"Obviously, it's going to take a lot of time and
money to get it back open, but we can't stop."
Contact ZACHARY GORCHOW at 313-222-6678 or