Austin Water Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend

The AWU Center for Environmental Research at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant is a partnership formed in 1989 with the University of Texas and Texas A&M University to support urban ecology and sustainability studies for Austin. Numerous Texas universities along with federal and state agencies work through the CER to utilize the Hornsby Bend site for education and research. The CER auditorium and classrooms are used by a wide range of academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations for workshops, classes, and meetings. Hornsby Bend is nationally known as a research site for sewage, soil ecology, biodiversity, riparian ecology, and more.The biodiversity is present both because the sewage treatment plant is managed to encourage wildlife and because of the diversity of habitats at the 1200 acre site stretching along 3.5 miles of the Colorado River. One measure of this biodiversity is that Hornsby Bend is one of the best birding sites in Texas – harboring over 370 species of birds and an abundance of other wildlife which is monitored through the CER’s citizen science programs and university researchers. Hornsby Bend is, also, a destination on the TPWD Central Texas ecotourism trail.