We are proud to receive many award-winning recognitions by our clients

Degrove Attends FSMS Conference in Naples, FL and Serves in Local Chapters

Degrove Surveyors was once again well-represented at the 2012 Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS) Conference, held this year in Naples, Florida.  Degrove President, Ray Niles, attended the Conference along with his wife, Mary.  Mr. Niles is a Past President of FSMS, and is currently serving as the FSMS Liaison to the Florida Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers (BPSM), and on the Society’s Legislative Committee.  Having been recognized with the Society’s most prestigious awards, he is a Fellow and Life Member of FSMS.

Also attending the Conference were Degrove team members Tyler Tracz and Will Pyle, who are each serving as Secretary of the FSMS Crown Chapter and North-Central Florida Chapter, respectively.  Other Degrove team members who are currently serving as officers are Tom Tracz, currently serving a second term as Crown Chapter Treasurer, and Randy Tompkins, serving as Crown Chapter Vice President.

Degrove recognizes that good professionals are involved in their profession.  Our firm is proud to continue our active involvement with and support of FSMS.  We send our thanks to all FSMS staff and volunteers who contributed to another great Conference!

Degrove Completes Hydrographic/Topographic Survey at Mile Point; Supports Efforts of USACE & JAXPORT

Degrove Surveyors recently completed a Hydrographic and Topographic Survey for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of their efforts on the Mile Point Project.  Mile Point is an area located between river miles four and five west of the Atlantic Ocean along the St. Johns River, at the confluence of the river and the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW).  The IWW enters the St. Johns River from the south out of Pablo Creek at an angle almost parallel with the channel, with flow usually running in the opposite direction of the flow of the river.

These difficult crosscurrents not only cause concerns about erosion of the Mile Point shoreline, but also prevent certain large vessels from navigating this portion of the river during the ebb tide.  As a result, the problems at Mile Point present the greatest obstacle to the growth of Jacksonville’s ports.

The Corps has partnered with Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) to address these problems.  The Corps and JAXPORT recently signed the Project Design Agreement which will allow the design to move forward.  Currently, the recommended plan includes relocation and reconfiguration of the existing training wall, restoration of Great Marsh Island, and creation of a flow improvement channel in Chicopit Bay.  An illustrated presentation of these details can be viewed here.

Degrove’s services included a Hydrographic and Topographic Survey of this entire area, including the area along the training wall and rock jetties, Great Marsh Island, and large portions of Chicopit Bay.  Degrove completed the field work in less than three weeks, with as many as three crews working on it at a time.  RTK GPS was utilized for both the uplands and hydrographic portions of the project.  Hydrographic crews utilized Degrove’s 14-foot Demaree inflatable-pontoon boat.  This platform has the advantages of a very shallow draft, superior stability, and a rugged construction that allows the vessel to make contact with jetty rocks without incurring any damages.  All data was used to create a Digital Terrain Model. 

Above: Image shows coverage area of survey data that Degrove achieved for the Mile Point project.

Degrove’s Support for U.S. Forest Service Recognized in Gainesville Sun Newspaper

Degrove Surveyors has recently been supporting the U.S. Forest Service through providing boundary-related line maintenance/marking services in the Apalachicola and Ocala National Forests.  The project was recently highlighted in the Gainesville Sun newspaper.  The following are excerpts from the article entitled, “Keeping it all straight: Ocala National Forest survey.”

OCALA – Surveyors in the Ocala National Forest are entering the home stretch on an important boundary management project for the U.S. Forest Service.

Since early March, Degrove Surveyors Inc. of Gainesville has had up to three crews at a time performing maintenance on geographic boundary lines in the Astor and Lake George areas. Covering roughly 10 miles of woodland, the lines are situated in sensitive locations where private property and government land often abut.

Forest Service Land Surveyor and Boundary Manager Jeff Fillion is overseeing the project, which is expected to be complete within the next few weeks.

“When you’re walking on the edge of private property and approaching forest service land, it should be obvious. That’s no longer the case,” Fillion said.


The Forest Service is concentrating maintenance efforts on spots noted by prescribed burn fire personnel and areas where boundary violations have been brought to their attention. Once a problem area is identified, Fillion hires private companies to renew the boundary lines. For the Ocala National Forest job, he turned to Degrove Vice President Tom Tracz, who has worked as a surveyor for 30 years.

Tracz assigned crews based on manpower and difficulty accessing the areas in need of maintenance.

“Sometimes just accessing the line is difficult and time consuming,” he said, noting that crews must often carry survey instruments, machetes, paint, posts and other tools deep into the woods.

Surveyor-in-training Will Pyle said although the Ocala forest is designed to be accessible, “there are places that are very, very remote. You can spend a day just looking for enough evidence to get started on marking the lines.

“It seems like the days you work the hardest surveying, you get the least done because you’re having problems with finding corners and getting enough information to actually start working,” he said.

Regarding the current job, “since it’s mainly line maintenance, the boundaries have been determined. It is a matter of making them visible to the public,” Tracz said.

Work crews pinpoint boundary lines, replace missing concrete posts, cut paths through underbrush, place hack marks on trees and paint lines. By the time everything is done, they typically have walked every mile four or five times.

“After we’re done, Jeff will come and we’ll walk it together so he can review what we’ve done and see that everything has been done to Forest Service specifications,” Tracz said.


The effort not only helps the Forest Service; it also helps the community.

Prescribed burns can’t be performed without knowing where property lines are located, and a lack of clear boundaries costs homeowners during new construction projects.

The article can be read in its entirety here.

More on Degrove’s role in the project, both in Ocala and Apalachicola, is available here.

Degrove Licensed to Practice Surveying in North Carolina

Degrove Surveyors is now licensed to practice surveying and mapping in the great state of North Carolina.  After passing the state exam and meeting all licensing requirements, Ray Niles and Randy Tompkins are now North Carolina Professional Land Surveyors.  North Carolina is the seventh state in which Degrove is licensed to provide surveying and mapping services.  Degrove continues to expand throughout the southeastern United States and looks forward to the opportunity to serve the people and agencies of North Carolina.

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

Degrove’s Will Pyle now a Certified Floodplain Manager

Degrove Survey Technician Will Pyle, S.I.T., in passing the certification exam and satisfying all requirements of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, is now a Certified Floodplain Manager.  Mr. Pyle received his Bachelor’s degree in Geomatics from the University of Florida.  In his time with Degrove, he has been involved with numerous projects concerning water resources and floodplain management.  Mr. Pyle has also served as Degrove’s field supervisor for multiple topographic and hydraulic structure surveys supporting Watershed Management Plans throughout the state of Florida. 

Mr. Pyle is an asset to the Degrove team, and his floodplain knowledge allows Degrove to provide better survey support for a variety of projects concerning floodplain management, environmental services, water management, and water resources.

Descriptions of some of Degrove’s watershed management projects can be seen here:
Alligator Creek Watershed Management Plan
Myakka River Watershed Initiative
Marion County Watershed Management Plan

Degrove Supports NAVFAC SE Efforts for Gradient Study at Kings Bay Naval Base, GA.

Degrove Surveyors recently completed a monitoring well project at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia.  Surveying services were in support of the Spray Field Gradient Study being completed by NAVFAC SE.  The study is being completed to determine the direction of groundwater flow from reused water spray fields.  Project tasks included completing a vertical control survey and also providing horizontal coordinate information on 23 monitoring wells located throughout the base – some being in very high security areas in which a full-time escort was required.  Despite having to cooperate with time-consuming security checks and daily vehicle scans, Degrove completed the project and delivered the information days early.  Field crews used digital levels and bar-code rods to achieve maximum accuracy and precision.  All vertical data was processed and adjusted using least-squares adjustment software.  Horizontal locations were determined with Trimble sub-meter GPS units.

Degrove Serving U.S. Forest Service in Apalachicola and Ocala National Forests

Degrove Surveyors is currently supporting the U.S. Forest Service through providing boundary-related survey services in the Apalachicola and Ocala National Forests.  In the Apalachicola National Forest, Degrove is performing land line maintenance for approximately 35 miles of Forest Service boundary lines with eight of those miles needing full boundary surveys.  In the Ocala National Forest, Degrove is performing land line maintenance to approximately eight miles of boundary lines, with possible full boundary surveys on a portion of lines that is still to be determined. 

The line maintenance includes recovering the boundary lines and then clearing, blazing, painting, and posting trees along the boundary.  Duties also require recovering existing corners along the boundary lines and establishing/refurbishing corner evidence such as sign posts and bearing trees.  All new information is being reported on corner cards provided by the Forest Service. 

Degrove Party Chief, Tyler Tracz, blazing and scribing bearing trees to refurbish corner evidence.

Degrove Awarded Contract with SWFWMD

Degrove Surveyors, Inc. has recently been awarded a contract with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).  The contract will span the next three years and will have Degrove providing the District with surveying and mapping services on an as-needed basis.  Degrove has contributed to SWFWMD projects in the past, either directly or as a sub-contractor to engineering firms.  Recently, Degrove has provided survey support on a number of watershed studies, and completed boundary and hydrographic surveys for the District.  We look forward to further developing this positive professional relationship.

Degrove is also currently in the third year of our fifth consecutive contract with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)—totaling 15 consecutive years of service—and is also an approved surveyor for the Suwanee River Water Management District.  This combines for three of the five Florida Water Management Districts that Degrove is now officially able to serve either through continuing services contracts or District approval.  Our team has become very comfortable providing survey support for a variety of environmental, water management, water resource, and floodplain management purposes.

Degrove is Awarded Second Consecutive Contract with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Degrove Surveyors, Inc. was recently awarded it’s second consecutive contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District.  This contract, like the previous one, will have Degrove providing the Corps with surveying and mapping services throughout the state of Florida on an as-needed basis over the next five years. 

Degrove has completed a number of large projects for the Corps already.  These projects have required topographic, hydrographic, subsurface utility location, geodetic control, vertical control, volume, as-built, and GPS surveying services from the Florida panhandle to the Florida Keys.  Degrove looks forward to continuing this positive professional relationship.

Degrove Completes Subsurface Location and Soft-Digs at Anastasia Island Waste Water Treatment Plant

Degrove Surveyors, as a sub-consultant to Bradshaw-Niles & Associates, is currently providing underground location support for an As-Built Survey of the Anastasia Island Waste Water Treatment Plant expansion in St. Augustine, Florida.  The expansion, a project owned by the St. Johns County Utility Department, connects the Anastasia Island Plant to another waste water treatment plant located across the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine Shores. 

Degrove field crews are locating a variety subsurface pipes throughout the plant, utilizing electromagnetic locators and ground penetrating radar (GPR).  Crews are also utilizing Degrove’s vacuum excavator to complete 45 soft-dig holes, verifying pipe size, type, and location at critical points in the network.