Re: Beaufort South Carolina no longer a free anchor
The laws regarding who and how you can drop your hook in any navigable waterways are fairly old, longstanding, and undisputed. You can drop it, incidental to the purposes of navigation, but if you're not "passing through" you're no longer navigating, you're an obstruction to navigation.
OTOH, there had to be an environmental impact study before a mooring field could be permitted. And a publication and a reference copy of that study, which should be available for public inspection. If the "last meeting" is tonight, ask where the study is and insist on access to it. If the study does not provide for "What happens when a boat breaks loose and founders?" then it was done incompletely, and you have the right to ask it to be thrown out and revisited, forcing a restart to the whole permitting process.
You might be able to reach someone at the Sierra Club or Greenpeace in their national hq for some fast "emergency" advice as to how to use that kind of monkeywrench.
But as to dropping an anchor anywhere, without limit? No, you won't be able to challenge or change the whole basis behind federal navigable waterway laws. Although a clever sailor could install a whole set of thrusters and a GPOS and actively "hover" without needing to anchor at all. They'd just LOVE that, you'd be underway and actively navigating the vessel, in full conformance with the laws. (VBG)