Climate adaptation is context specific and inclusion of diverse forms of knowledge is crucial for developing resilient social-ecological systems. Emphasis on local inclusion is increasing, yet participatory approaches often fall short of facilitating meaningful engagement of diverse forms of knowledge. A central challenge is the lack of a comprehensive and comparative understanding of the social-ecological knowledge that various stakeholders use to inform adaptation decisions. We employed cultural consensus analysis to quantitatively measure and compare social-ecological knowledge within and across three stakeholder groups - government employees, researchers, and local residents in rural coastal Maryland. The results show that 1) local residents placed more emphasis on addressing socio-economic and cultural changes than researchers and government employees, and 2) that the greatest variation in social-ecological knowledge was found among local residents. These insights yielded by cultural consensus analysis are beneficial for facilitating more inclusive adaptation planning for resilient social-ecological systems.