Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 helped boost support for the project.
Ham's Answers in Genesis ministry and the Creation Museum enjoyed an avalanche of news media attention during the debate, which focused on science and the Bible's explanations of the origins of the universe.
Answers in Genesis unveiled the proposal in 2010 for a $150 million theme park that would include the ark. But private donations to the project did not keep pace with the construction timeline, forcing its backers to delay the ark's construction and divide the park development into phases. The bonds were offered last year by the city of Williamstown, site of the planned ark about 40 miles south of Cincinnati.
Ham said the bond issue faced many obstacles, including what he called misleading news media reports and attempts by opponents to disrupt the bond offering.
Ham would not disclose the total amount of bond funds raised because of underwriter restrictions. But a December bond document describing the project listed the amount at $62 million. Mark Looy, a vice president with Answers in Genesis, said the figure is less than $62 million, and that the minimum funding requirement was achieved.
Nye brushed off a question about whether he might be criticized for taking part in a debate that boosted fundraising for the ark.
"Me? I've always been criticized," he said.
The bonds are to be repaid through revenue from the park, and the city is not liable for the money, according to bond documents.
The wooden ark would have old-world details, such as wooden pegs instead of nails, straight-sawed timbers and plenty of animals — some alive, some robotic.
The Creation Museum opened in 2007 and has been criticized by scientists as an affront to evolution science. Ham said Thursday that 2 million visitors have entered the museum since it opened.