The mud under the waters of Florida belongs to the State not the Federal Government
unless the Fed's purchased it from the State. This was tested many years ago in Florida and was reported on by Southwinds magazine out of St. Pete. They have been following the Florida situation for a decade or more. It all derives from the original 13 States that got together to form the United States. These States pre-existed the Federal Government
- it is all part of "sovereign" States thing. The land that central and western States were made from was land that was purchased or annexed by the Federal Government and the those States were formed later so the Fed's do own a lot of land in those areas (e.g. the Indian Reservations).
- - You cannot anchor in the ICW! It is a channel. You can anchor adjacent to the ICW in State waters/mud subject to the Florida laws.
- - Be careful, there are a lot of Florida State regulations concerning boats other than the "hot" anchoring issue. The latest revision published by BoatUS and others clearly outlines the revisions to Florida anchoring.
- - The new revisions clarifies what the rules are for designated local mooring fields and states only that local jurisdiction cannot extend any rules beyond the boundaries of those designated mooring fields. But more importantly, the new rules also will cause havoc with the old Florida rules on MSD's and their use. In that law there is a definition of "live-aboard" and this new revision is in conflict with that law. Not an uncommon problem with legislation. That law basically states that any occupied boat that remains in one place for over 30 days is a "live-aboard" and subject to inspection
and fine or confiscation if it does not have holding tanks
and is using them. This was the first attempt to get rid of the derelicts who never move and dump sewerage into the waters. If you do not stay anchored in "one spot" for more than 30 days then the law does not apply to you. Other laws establish "no-discharge" rules for Florida.
- - As to local police being able to do anything, it is well known from the Fed level on down that they can harass you, intimidate you, threaten you, and make your life miserable (and expensive if you wish to "fight for your rights") unless you comply and leave. Legally, the government at whatever level "cannot do "XXXXX"" but that has never slowed them down. So just be careful and polite and maybe over time they will see the light and stop harassing us - but I am not going to hold my breathe.