Maine is the only state in the country with a significant harvest of wild blueberries, which are smaller cousins to the more ubiquitous cultivated berries. The wild blueberry, which grows in the sprawling barrens of Maine's rural east, is the state's official berry and one of its most significant exports. However, the wild blueberry could get some help fighting off a pest under legislation proposed by the state's Republican US senator, as the berries are threatened by the spotted wing drosophila.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has stated that she has submitted a bill to establish a fund of $6.5 million per year for five years to advance research and reduce the fly's population. “Maine’s wild blueberries are an integral part of our state’s heritage and play a major role in our state’s economy,” Collins said. “The pervasiveness of the spotted wing drosophila has threatened the livelihoods of fruit farmers across the country."