Sarasota Bay Eco-tourism

Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program

Join SBEP for educational kayak tours throughout Sarasota Bay and discover the plants, wildlife, habitats, and other features that make Sarasota Bay an Estuary of National Significance. Trips run from December through April with professional guide Brad Tanner (see picture below). The trips are FREE although participants need to bring their own kayak and gear. There are many outfitters throughout Sarasota and Manatee County that rent kayaks. Each trip lasts between two and three hours and space is limited to 15 individuals per outing. The late Jack Taylor, a respected marine biologist, launched the kayak tour program in 2007 with a SBEP Bay Partners Grant.

The 2015-2016 schedule:

December 5 to Neal Preserve
December 19 to Neal Preserve
January 9 to Leffis Key and Jewfish Key
January 16 to Leffis Key and Jewfish Key
February 6 to Lido Mangrove Tunnels
February 20 to Lido Mangrove Tunnels
February 27 Pinecraft Park down Phillippi Creek
March 12 to Blind Pass
March 19 to Blind Pass
April 9 to Lyons and Blackburn Bay
April 16 to Lyons and Blackburn Bay

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 kayakers. Participants who wish to sign up for more than one trip will be able to sign up for one trip and then be put on a waiting list for the other trips of interest. Participants will be contacted before their trip via email to confirm.

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 if you have questions. Please contact SBEP as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration.

Kayak Rental Companies:

Almost Heaven  504-6296
Beach Bums  778-3316
Economy Tackle  922-9671
Silent Sports  966-5477
Midnight Pass Bike and Kayak  346-0891
Siesta Sports Rentals  346-1797
Island Style Watersports  954-1009