As Earth Day approaches, people are getting involved in all kinds of ways to help the environment, but one man and a group of his friends have taken on a project of gigantic proportions. Rodolfo Almira and three of his buddies are in the process of building a $1.5 million replica of Noah's Ark in Miami, Florida.
Almira's plan for what he calls the "Hidden Ark" is for the space to serve as a museum, a shop, and a petting zoo with pigs, chickens, goats, and other small animals. Almira told the Miami Herald that the ark "has nothing to do with any specific religion" but that he is basing the construction of the massive ship on the instructions that God gave to Noah as described in the Bible. So when the project is complete, the ark will measure 500 feet long and be three stories tall.
Almira said his focus is environmental awareness. He said he was inspired to build the ark after seeing animals struggle to find food and shelter after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Almira and his friends began constructing the ark six months ago, and there's no definite end date.
So far, $300,000 of the $1.5 million projected costs has been raised, and a Kickstarter campaign is in the works to fund the rest of the project.
The construction has hit a few roadblocks along the way. Almira has been fined three times for not having the correct zoning approval and building permits to build the ark on the 5-acre lot. He is not discouraged and says that he will pay the fines as they are incurred. So far, he has accumulated $1,500 in citations.