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The 69th SWCS International Annual Conference is taking place 27-30 July in Lombard, Illinois, USA. From the Great Lakes to the coast, our use of the land impacts major bodies of water. Whether it be the large freshwater lakes of the United States and Canada, the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean; or the other lakes, seas, and oceans of the world, these terminal waters tell the story of what is happening upstream. This year, we consider challenges and progress in nutrient management, erosion and sediment control, nonpoint source and watershed policy, and other issues influencing the health and productivity of our soils and large water bodies. We have an opportunity to reflect upon decades of hard work and to acknowledge the progress of land managers, farmers, advisors, and scientists. We can also recognize failure and emerging problems, with a focus on innovatively moving forward to develop and implement best practices and improve outcomes. Collectively we can make waves in conservation by coming together to share ideas, explore opportunities, and face the challenge of our life on land and its impact on water