Construction and maintenance of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail has been made possible through the efforts of the Pacheedaht Nation, government, industry and local residents. At one time, the trail was part of a lifesaving trail to rescue shipwrecked survivors. Beginning in 1973, the Sierra Club BC Victoria Local Group began promoting protection of the area, known at the time as the West Coast Strip, as a wilderness corridor.
When Botanical Beach was put up for sale in 1982, Sierra Club BC and the Nature Conservancy successfully advocated for the area to be purchased and managed by BC Parks. Sierra Club BC continued for many years to campaign for protection of other parts of the trail. Finally, in 1996, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was established by the Capital Regional District.
In 2011, a new proposal emerged for a resort development of 460 structures immediately beside the trail. Hundreds of Sierra Club BC supporters and a large number of local residents spoke out with strong objections to the plan. In response to the wide and organized opposition, the Capital Regional District voted not to approve the development and changed its practices for decision making to ensure that future projects fit with its Regional Growth Strategy.