SOUTH PORTLAND — The environmental organization, Friends of Casco Bay, is almost finished collecting applications for a new baykeeper to help protect Maine’s Casco Bay.

The South Portland-based nonprofit organization says the new baykeeper will serve as an advocate and spokesman for the bay. The organization is taking applications until Aug. 31 at 5 p.m.

Longtime Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne retired in January after almost 24 years on the job. The group says its new baykeeper will have a background in environmental or marine science, environmental policy and regulations, or pollution response and abatement.