POULTNEY, Vt. — A nonprofit organization is eyeing about 200 “deadbeat dams” with the goal of pushing for their removal.

The Nature Conservancy of Vermont is partnering with the state to create a detailed, data-supported map, that ranks and prioritizes the most destructive dams, Vermont Public Radio reported Tuesday.

“We use things like the length of river that can be opened up for fish spawning, the presence of rare fish such as lake sturgeon and the conditions of river shore habitat to prioritize which dams, if removed, could have the most positive impact for our communities and for our rivers,” said Heather Furman, the organization’s state director.

Derelict dams cost communities money for upkeep, and they impede water flow, she said. They also create problems for fish and other aquatic species.

There are more than 1,200 dams that hold up rivers, creeks and streams throughout the state – some more than a century old. Currently, only 80 of the state’s dams are actively used for hydropower or flood control. Far more no longer serve a purpose.

Critics say about 200 deadbeat dams are deteriorating and reducing habitat for fish as well as hampering recreational activities for humans.

“They don’t manage floodwaters,” Furman said. “They don’t produce any hydropower. And today these dams are posing safety hazards.”