Sarasota Bay Eco-tourism

Bay Wise Kayak Tour Program

Join SBEP for educational kayak tours throughout Sarasota Bay and discover the plants, animals, habitats, and other features that make Sarasota Bay an Estuary of National Significance. Ten trips are organized from December through April with two outings per month led by 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, helped to create the popular kayak tour program in 2007 with a SBEP funded Bay Partners Grant.

The 2014-2015 schedule:

December 6 to Neal Preserve
December 20 to Neal Preserve
January 3 to Leffis and Jewfish Key
January 17 to Leffis and Jewfish Key
February 7 to Lido Mangrove Tunnels
February 21 to Lido Mangrove Tunnels
March 7 to Blind Pass
March 21 to Blind Pass
March 29 to Philippi Creek
April 4 to Lyons and Blackburn Bay
April 18 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 a class before exploring Sarasota Bay. 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.

Rescheduling of Bay Wise kayak tours due to unforeseen circumstances will also 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 in order to participate. Children under 10 years of age are discouraged from participating for safety reasons.

You can also 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