Local governments are not adapting to sea-level rise because it is difficult to build consensus on the need for change and the best way to implement it. In theory, adaptation pathways can resolve this impasse. Adaptation pathways are a sequence of linked strategies that are triggered by a change in environmental conditions, and in which initial decisions can have low regrets and preserve options for future generations. We report on a project that sought to empirically test the relevance and feasibility of a local pathway for adapting to sea-level rise.