Category Archives: Uncategorized

Degrove Approved to Serve SRWMD

Degrove Surveyors has been selected as an approved surveyor by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year.  The District manages water and other related resources in all of Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union counties, as well as parts of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Jefferson, Levy, and Putnam counties.  Degrove has over a decade of experience serving other water management districts in Florida, including St. Johns River, South Florida, and Southwest Florida.  Our services have included boundary, topographic, monitoring well site, hydrographic, control, as-built, and wetland surveys, as well as many other general surveying duties.  Degrove looks forward to the opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with the District.

Degrove Provides Survey Support for JEA Total Water Management Plan

Degrove has been providing survey support on Segments 3 and 6 of the JEA Total Water Management Plan (TWMP).  The goal of this pipeline project is to deliver potable water from the west side of the St. Johns River to Cortez Road.  The total corridor is nearly eight miles long, with Segments 3 and 6 encompassing over three miles of the route .  Since 2008, Degrove has also completed hydrographic surveys in the St. Johns River and provided survey support for preliminary recon on possible routes for the TWMP.

This summer, Degrove completed Topographic Route Surveys for both Segment 3 and Segment 6.  These surveys were completed to determine the existing site conditions for design considerations in construction for the TWMP Pipeline Project.  Degrove established control on each segment.  The vertical control of the individual segments were tied together and adjusted through a network of level runs that Degrove has built over the last 13 years. Location included all above ground features within and 10 feet outside the right-of-way.  Cross-sections were surveyed at 100-foot intervals and at significant breaks in grade.  Pipe inverts and underground utilities were also located.  Deliverables included electronic CAD files and printed hard copies.

Segment 3 began on Rio St. Johns Drive at Matanzas Way and proceeded easterly along Matanzas Way to Argo Drive, then northerly—through the transition from Argo to Bretta Street—to Commerce Street, then easterly along Commerce, crossing University Boulevard, to Westdale Drive, then northerly along Westdale to the JEA Water Treatment Plant – the total length of the route for Segment 3 being approximately 8300 feet.

Segment 6 began near the intersection of Southside Boulevard and Bradley Road, proceeded easterly along Bradley Road to Anniston Road, then southerly to pickup Bradley Road again, then easterly along Bradley to Cortez Road and 150 feet north and south along Cortez– the total length of the route for Segment 6 being approximately 9100 feet.  Degrove also completed the subsurface utility location and designation along Segment 6.

Degrove is proud to continue providing services for JEA projects.

Degrove Continues Providing Survey Support for Watershed Management Plans

Degrove Surveyors recently completed a project that will provide the survey data necessary for the Alligator Creek Watershed Management Plan.  Specifically, the data delivered will aid in the creation of a model of the Alligator Creek Watershed.  The model will support the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and the City of Clearwater in their efforts with the Watershed Management Plan.  Degrove completed a Topographic and Hydraulic Structure Survey that included 104 hydraulic structures, 4 bridges, and 34 channel cross-sections.  Field crews used a combination of RTK-GPS and conventional trigonometric and differential leveling to achieve the data.  The project had a 60 day time-line and was completed early.

Degrove Under Contract with FIND

Degrove Surveyors is now under contract with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) to provide surveying and mapping services for projects on an as-needed basis.  Projects will likely include boundary, topographic, hydrographic/bathymetric, and as-built surveys in the District’s northern region.  Degrove has contributed to FIND projects in past years through work for the Army Corps of Engineers and has completed projects in all 12 of the counties within the District.  We look forward to serving the District and developing a great working relationship.

Degrove Expands to Louisiana

Degrove President and owner, Ray Niles, has met all licensing requirements and is now a Professional Land Surveyor in the great state of Louisiana.  Degrove is excited for the opportunity to provide surveying and mapping services in Louisiana and is looking forward to building great working relationships with other firms and agencies in the state.

Degrove is also licensed to provide surveying and mapping services in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Degrove Helps Sponsor Bring the Noise Campaign to Support JAXPORT Enhancements

Members of the A/E/C and supporting industries will gather at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal on June 9 at 5:30pm for a cocktail reception and “Bring the Noise” letter writing campaign.  Degrove is a pledged “Anchor Sponsor” of the event, which will show widespread support for enhancements to the Jacksonville Port Authority—Northeast Florida’s primary economic engine.  Attendees are encouraged to write letters to a variety of elected officials expressing the need to fund JAXPORT enhancements, which will sustain/create jobs and generate revenue for Florida.

Among the issues that the “Bring the Noise” campaign will address are Mile Point (a navigational restriction in the St. John’s River that prevents large ships from entering the harbor with fully loaded cargo) and the need for a deeper harbor.  Fixing these issues will bring more cargo to JAXPORT, and thus create thousands of jobs throughout our region.  These, among other enhancements, will allow JAXPORT to reach its full potential and make Florida the shipping capital of the U.S. East Coast.

For more information on the “Bring the Noise” event, visit:

Degrove Attends UF Geomatics Weekend

Degrove Surveyors was well represented at the University of Florida’s 2011 Geomatics Weekend on April 1 – 2, 2011.  The weekend serves as an annual fundraiser for the Geomatics program at UF—a program completed by four current Degrove employees.  Activities began with a Trap Shoot on Friday afternoon at Gator Skeet and Trap in Gainesville, followed by a social at Beef-O-Brady’s, which Degrove helped sponsor.  Saturday included a golf tournament and barbeque banquet at Ironwood Golf Course in Gainesville.  Degrove employees Will Pyle and Tyler Tracz received “Plumb Bob Awards” for being recent graduates of the program.  The weekend was very enjoyable for all who attended and a fun way to support the education of our future surveyors.

Pictured above (L to R): Degrove employees Will Pyle, Russell Smith, and Tyler Tracz; Degrove President, Ray Niles, and son, Matt Niles.

Pictured below: Degrove VP, Tom Tracz and Degrove Party Chief, Will Pyle.

Degrove Provides Survey Support for Myakka River Watershed Initiave

Degrove is near completion of a large project that provides survey support for the multi-faceted Myakka River Watershed Initiative—a project funded and administered by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).  The Initiative includes a comprehensive study of the Myakka River Watershed, as well as the development of a watershed model and a Watershed Management Plan.  The Initiative is designed to “develop strategies to protect, enhance, and restore natural systems and water quality, while addressing issues of water supply and flood protection.”

The project has included surveying cross sections, bridges, and water control structures throughout the 600 square mile watershed, including areas of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, and Hardee counties.  In addition to surveying, field crews have been responsible for taking pictures and video at each cross section/structure and recording relevant information on each of these areas, which will aid in constructing the watershed model.  All survey data and other recorded information (photos, videos, scans of field notes, relevant geographic information, etc.) have been organized in a GIS geodatabase feature data table for delivery to the client.

The project is being completed through combined efforts of the Gainesville and Jacksonville offices, and is being managed by Degrove VP, Tom Tracz.

Degrove Completes Hydrographic Survey of Lake Panasoffkee

Degrove recently completed a Hydrographic Survey of Lake Panasoffkee for the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).  The area surveyed included the open water within Lake Panasoffkee and the centerline of open water portions of Little Jones Creek, Big Jones Creek, Shady Brook spring runs, and the Lake Panasoffkee Outlet River that flows west to the Withlacoochee River.  The survey was completed using RTK/GPS with cellular modems at the base and on the boat.  Lake cross-sections were surveyed every 1000 feet, and two transect lines were surveyed the length of the lake – perpendicular to the cross-sections.  The data from these crossing lines was used to calculate precision statistics for the hydrographic data.

Lake Panasoffkee is a large (over 3200 acres) lake, but very shallow and heavily vegetated.  These conditions forced us to use non-typical processing procedures for the hydrographic data collected.  Due to the extreme amounts of vegetation, we had to view the echogram of each cross-section line individually, in order to determine and manually digitize the lake bottom – a tedious process.  Electronic soundings could not be achieved in some areas, either because the vegetation was too matted for electronic soundings, or floating vegetation was too thick for an outboard motor.  In these areas, field crews collected bottom shots using an airboat and a GPS receiver on a 25 foot rod.  The base of the rod was equipped with a six-inch plate, which was allowed to come to rest in the silt and mud. This allowed for a consistent lake bottom to be determined.  Bottom shots were also taken near the shorelines, where the lake became too shallow for electronic readings or outboard motors.  Crews overlapped rod shots with electronic soundings to ensure continuity in the data of each cross-section line.  The image seen at the top of this page depicts the data collected.  The magenta lines depict hydrographic data, and the yellow lines depict data collected with the airboat and rod.

SWFWMD intends to use the data collected to support decision making in the long-term management of Lake Panasoffkee, and more specifically how the District operates the Wysong-Coogler Water Conservation Structure.

The photographs below illustrate some of the field procedures and conditions.  Notice the photo of the floating vegetation.

Ray Niles becomes ACSM-THSOA Certified Hydrographer

Degrove President, Ray Niles, has achieved the status of Certified Hydrographer by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and The Hydrographic Society of America.  This certification is well-recognized in the hydrographic surveying industry.  It is also considered by many Federal, State, and Local Agencies when selecting consultants.  Ray has been actively practicing hydrographic surveying for over 25 years, and is highly skilled in both hydrographic data collection and processing.

In addition to becoming a ACSM-THSOA Certified Hydrographer, Ray is a Hypack Certified Hydrographer.  This is another prestigious certification, as less than 5% of surveyors who take the certification exam achieve a passing score.  Hypack’s website states the following about the certification exam:

“Users must demonstrate advanced knowledge in Survey Design, Hardware Configuration, Survey, Single Beam Processing, Sounding Selection, Multibeam Calibration and Processing, Volume Computations and General Hydrography in order to pass. Less than 5% of surveyors who take the test achieve a passing score.”

More about the exam, as well as a list of those who have passed the exam worldwide, can be found at