Sarasota Bay Eco-tourism

Bay Wise Kayak Eco-Tours

Join SBEP for sustainable kayak eco-tours throughout Sarasota Bay and discover the habitats and wildlife that make Sarasota Bay an Estuary of National Significance. Eco-tours run from December through April with professional guide Brad Tanner. The trips are free, but participants need to bring their own kayak and gear or rent from the many outfitters throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Each trip lasts between two and three hours. Space is limited to 15 individuals per outing. The late Jack Taylor, a respected marine biologist, launched the kayak eco-tour program in 2007 with a Bay Partners Grant.

Check out this Visit Florida article about a Bay Wise Kayak Tour of Neal Preserve.

Special for 2017! – SBEP’s Bay Wise Kayak Eco-Tours are partnering with the 2017 World Rowing Championships and ((ecko)) tours on the Eco Paddling Passport Program. Thanks to the World Rowing Championships sponsorship, kayaks will be provided for three eco-tours in in 2016-2017 Bay Wise series. Registrations for the WRC eco-tours are open now!

The 2016-2017 schedule:

December 3, 2016: Neal Preserve

December 17, 2016: Neal Preserve

January 7, 2017: Leffis & Jewfish Keys – Special for 2017Sign up with the 2017 World Rowing Championships – SOLD OUT

January 21, 2017: Leffis & Jewfish Keys – FULL

February 4, 2017: Lido Mangrove Tunnels

February 11, 2017: Phillippi Creek

February 18, 2017: Lido Mangrove Tunnels

March 4, 2017: Blind Pass – Special for 2017Sign up with the 2017 World Rowing Championships – Sold Out – Contact darcy@sarasotabay.org to be placed on the waiting list

March 18, 2017: Blind Pass – Register on Eventbrite

April 1, 2017 Date changed to April 22, 2017: Lyons Bay & Blackburn Point – Register on Eventbrite – Sold Out – Contact darcy@sarasotabay.org to be placed on the waiting list

April 15, 2017: Lyons Bay & Blackburn Point – Special for 2017Sign up with the 2017 World Rowing Championships – Sold Out – Contact darcy@sarasotabay.org to be placed on the waiting list

Bay Wise Kayak Tour

Gear checklist:

  • Whistle (required)
  • Hat (recommended)
  • Fresh water (required)
  • Lifejacket (required)
  • Sun protection (required)
  • Water shoes (required)
  • Paddle (required)
  • Snack (recommended)
  • Clothes that can get wet
  • Ziploc bags for dry storage
  • Camera/binoculars (recommended)

Important – If you have never kayaked before, we suggest that you contact one of the kayak rental companies and take an introductory class. Bay Wise Kayak Tours are not recommended for first time paddlers.

We hope to bring the Bay Wise kayak tours to as many people as possible – please help support this effort by limiting your participation to two trips per season.

Rescheduling of Bay Wise kayak tours due to unforeseen circumstances will be communicated via email. All participants must sign a waiver to hold harmless SBEP and Brad Tanner, the professional guide for the program. The kayak rental company may have you sign their own release form. Minors must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Children under 10 years of age are discouraged from participating for safety reasons.

Please contact darcy@sarasotabay.org with questions. Please contact SBEP as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration.

Kayak Rental Companies:

Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures  (941) 504-6296
Beach Bums  (941) 778-3316
Economy Tackle (941) 922-9671
Silent Sports  (941) 966-5477
Siesta Sports Rentals  (941) 346-1797
Island Style Watersports  (941) 954-1009
SUP Sarasota (941) 281-0215

Subscribe to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program e-mail list for announcements about Bay Wise Kayak Eco-Tours and other events: