A bill restricting legal anchoring has been introduced in the Florida Senate (a House bill is likely forthcoming). SB 1548: Vessel Safety specifies how vessels may be anchored or moored on the state's waterways, and would change current navigation laws as early as July 1, 2015. (Current "Vessel Safety" statutes can be found here: Florida Statutes Chap. 327)
The new legislation would make it illegal to anchor or moor a vessel "within 200 feet of the shoreline of developed waterfront property... between the times of one hour past sunset and one hour before sunrise," with a "safe harbor" exception "...in which case the vessel may remain anchored for 7 working days until repaired, or in the event of extreme weather, until weather conditions improve to the point it is no longer perilous to operate the vessel."
Additionally, a vessel may not anchor or moor "within 200 feet of the marked boundary of a permitted mooring field or any public boat ramp, hoist, marine railway, or other launching or landing facility available for use by the general public." The bill also outlines rules for vessels stored at anchor.
Violations would be considered a noncriminal infraction requiring an appearance before the county court. The civil penalty upon conviction would be:
First offense, $50
Second offense, $100
Third or subsequent offense, $250
Failure to appear or otherwise properly respond to a citation would add a misdemeanor offense of the second degree.
See related editorial: Will many Florida anchorages be a thing of the past?
See SSCA report: Storm clouds on the Florida anchoring horizon.